When I was a kid, the church was the building on the corner with the big steeples and a bell. It was a place you only went to when people got married or died. It wasn’t a place for us kids. Each time I had to “stop fidgeting” and “be quiet!”
Out the back was a grave yard. Wasn’t allowed to play there either.
Found the garden, behind a hedge and big old picket fence, once. Had pretty roses, green grass and a bench seat. Nope, wasn’t allowed to play there either.
I only went a couple times to form the opinion that church wasn’t for me.
I’d reckon there are a few people that have had a similar experience to me and dread stepping foot in a church. Even after experiencing miracles or angels, like me.
And to be honest, I can certainly understand that!
But in my late 20’s I had a remarkable encounter with God Himself – read more on that here
That encounter led me to a group of people who gathered together to worship God on a Sunday. The church building was nothing to write home about. The lady who pounded on the organ keys was ninety, not out! The bloke leading the singing couldn’t sing for nuts. All appearances seemed a joke when measured against some of the fancy buildings and entertainment places I had visited before.
But something was different.
It was like wearing a comfortable pair of old shoes. I felt like I had arrived home.
It wasn’t the building…that’s for sure. It wasn’t the music or the singing… definitely!
It was the people. Friendly people. Accepting people.
I had discovered the Gathered Church.
For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.
When Christians gather together, and only 2 or 3 need to do so, God is there with them – this is the Church gathered – WE are the Church. And the best part is that it doesn’t matter where they are gathered…it can be down the local shops, in a home, around a hospital bed, in a park, anywhere, and yes, even in a church building – a building for the Church to meet in.
Being a part of the Church is incredible to belong to:
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Since that first church I experienced, I now gather with a wonderful group of people at CityLife Church – Casey.
The people in CityLife Church are a friendly bunch too… like those old shoes, except they are well looked after, polished and still very comfortable. And they love kids!