What does it really mean to be church? If WE ARE THE CHURCH, then how do we overcome consumerism and "compete" with the offerings of the world. Well, I think the answer is simple: we don't! Yes it is important for us to try and relate to people; yes, it is important that we have some degree of "attractiveness" that allows people to think "I would love to be part of that". But ultimate-ly we are not called to be attractive, we are called to be faithful - we are called to fulfill our purpose (honour | build | connect). Can we achieve these things if we separate ourselves from our communi-ty of faith? Can we do this if we neglect to fellowship with one another?
You see fellowship is important. Meeting together "as is our custom" is more than something to do on a Sunday morning: it is the gathering of the saints; it is the coming together of the body of Christ; it is the bride seeking to be found by the groom "without spot or blemish".
So here's my answer to that question at the start "If you weren't the Pastor at your church would you attend it? - YES I would. Not because we have the most compelling teaching or most wonderful wor-ship music; not because my kids are well catered for; not because of the great vision and direction of the church (although all these things are important!). I say YES because fellowship is important. I say YES because when we gather together we ARE the church!
"Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his prom-ise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not ne-glect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." Hebrews 10:23-25
Pastor David Auty