WHY do you attend the church you attend? Seriously… why? And along with that, what does it take for where people go to be a church? And… would you still attend if the following things ceased to exist there…?
The Building(s)… Choir… Sunday School teacher(s)… instruments… children & youth programs… the worship leader… small groups… gymnasium… and the ministerial staff.
On the flip side, what ONE thing IS required for a group to be a church? Here are things for consideration:
A new building? A rockin or dignified Choir? Reputation as “the church to attend?” Sunday School? Gifted Ministerial staff? Instruments? An awesome worship leader? Cool lighting? Jammin or Traditional worship? A baptistry? Lord’s Supper table? Class rooms? A nursery? Small groups? A cool youth program? A gymnasium? Hymn books?
The answer is no to all those things. NONE of them are required in order for a group of people to become a church. However… most people choose a church based on those things and NOT the one thing left out of that list. I know people who attend church because that’s where their friends go…. OR that’s where my kid’s friends go… OR they like the style of worship… OR (Without saying it) that’s “the place to be as a Christian right now.”
The one thing needed to be a church is preaching. Not teaching… preaching (They are different). Everything else flows from preaching. EVERYTHING. The Word of God must be proclaimed faithfully, lovingly, passionately, and accurately by one who is called and gifted for that task. As it is written in 2 Timothy 4:1-2…
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 PREACH THE WORD… (Emphasis mine).
Preaching is not telling funny stories… endlessly explaining Christian history… constantly explaining Greek sentence construction… a religious motivational speech…. nor jumping up and down while screaming every couple of sentences (Volume doesn’t make something true).
Preaching is taking the meaning of God’s Word (The Bible) and proclaiming it to those that hear. Preaching is speaking God’s truth… regardless of what it is. Preaching is taking a passage of Scripture… then proclaiming it… trusting that God will make the application throught the Holy Spirit.
The goal of every preacher should… no… MUST be that when he has concluded the people say, “What an awesome God we serve!” It cannot be, “Boy he knocked that one out of the park!” Pride is the preachers #1 enemy…
So, if everything is great EXCEPT the preaching… would you still attend that church? OR… If everything thing EXCEPT preaching was gone from where you attend church… would you still go there?