What is church to you? Is church a consumer experience — like attending a movie or play, a largely passive thing? Some might even be informed consumers. Is it like being a comic book movie fan, knowing the story of the heroes and villains, and their back stories?
Or maybe we’re a bit more involved at church, even enough to have a rooting interest. Like the interactive fans at a sporting event where we care about the outcome? We know some of the players and we support the home team. We identify enough with Christians to hope they win, right ? Maybe we’re even a superfan, well past the basics of knowing to root for the sheep, not the goats, and can even discriminate between the Arminians and the Calvinists. Like the fantasy football guys who know the player’s stats, we can cite some verses to back up our favorite doctrines.
But the gospel calls us to be so much more than consumers or fans — even informed ones. Church can’t be just what we do on Sundays, no matter where we fall on the active-to-passive scale when there. Living out our faith in daily devotion to Christ must be the center of our lives. It’s not what we sometimes, even often, do, it is to grow to be who we are. Christ and His church are to fully shape who and what we are by the lessons we learn it, with the relationships with other in it who are also so dedicated, and through the worship to God contained in it.
There are no other institutions in our world do this. The apostle John said, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1John 5:19) But the Apostle Paul reminded us the that “household of God, which is the church of the living God, is the pillar and support of the truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15)