Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother. Mark 3:34-35 (NLT)
I completely understand that not all churches are healthy or life-giving. I would be the first to admit that church is flawed and imperfect. It all boils down to this: not all people are healthy. You see, a church isn’t a building. It is not an organization and it is not a religion either. A church is a family.
Let’s think about the terminology God uses—it is all intentionally chosen. God is Jesus’ father. Jesus is God’s son. It’s no accident that God chose words that describe family.
When we “go to church,” we’re getting the family together at Dad’s house. The building is not the church, just as your house is not your family; it’s just where you hang out.
Some families are very dysfunctional. Yet, it would be very unfortunate to assume that all family units do damage because of the behaviour of some. The same is true for church. It’s so unfortunate that the unhealthy behaviour of some has kept thousands from experiencing church as it’s really meant to be. Healthy families aren’t perfect, and neither are healthy church families. But despite its flaws, family enriches life and helps to make it incredible!
Church is meant to be filled with people who are passionate about learning, growing, worshipping God and reaching out to others. It’s a family that loves, accepts, and forgives no matter what.
Would you be willing to give church another try? And if you do attend, what can you do to help make your church more life-giving?