This past week I attended a funeral of one of the most faithful and inspiring women I had the pleasure of growing up with in church. As I was preparing food for the family, the song “Church (take me back)” by Cochren & Co came on. If you are not familiar with it, the chorus says “take me back to place that feels like home, to the people I can depend on, to the faith that is in my bones….”
My little country church
Oh, did it take me back…it took me back to the wonderful memories of my little country church. The place that was my home, the place that housed the people I could depend on, and the place that watched me grow from an infant to adulthood. I must admit a range of emotions came over me. Some of you may relate to those types of churches, you know- the ones that are truly a family and not just a congregation that gathers on Sunday mornings. Those churches that you often wonder if they really have assign seats-because you can always find Ms. Ina on the left side of the church 3 rows back from the pulpit-right? But, walking back into my home church of 25+ years was bittersweet.
That small country church was more to me than just a cute little church in my hometown. That building is where I learned about salvation and the risen Savior. That same building is where my family worshiped, and everyone loved everyone, or so it seemed. The older I got I noticed the lower the attendance numbers became. Before I knew it, it was a very slim congregation and I felt that I needed to find a church that my kids could learn the same way I did. I wanted my kids to have that same nurturing congregation that supported me throughout the good and bad.
We are the church
Today, we hear a lot about traditional churches “dying”. Folks, the church is not dying, it is the people that are allowing Christianity to slip through the cracks.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the day approaching.”Hebrews 10:24-25
The Holy Spirit is and always will be alive, death could not hold Him and He chose death so that you could live. Do you remember the childhood song, “I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together..” That last line, “we are the church together.” Church is more than an obligation, it is our foundation, we need each other, sisters and brothers in Christ, as ONE church working together for the Kingdom of God.
Looking in all the wrong places
I will admit, I was a bit discouraged by the church, swore that I would never go back, but the fact is, I was blind to the truth and didn’t know what I had…I was searching for healing but looking in all the wrong places. Although my family had been searching and visiting a lot of churches it was not until recently that I found the church that set my soul on fire. To me, it didn’t matter how many people were attending, it didn’t matter who the preacher was, all that mattered to me was that it just felt right and ignited my soul.
So, if you are longing to belong don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and allow God to guide you where you need to be. I will forever be grateful for listening to His invitation and leading me to the church that I attend the church that encourages me, loves my family and supports us in every way. Thanks be to God!
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