I was watching a video today (this one HERE - fairly insightful) when I heard a guy say this: "People do not need church for community. They can get community in plenty of other places. They do not need church for tribal identity. They can get tribal identity from many other places."
I agree. Kinda. And it got me thinking.
We believe that church is three loves:
- Love for God (worship)
- Love for others (community)
- Love for the lost (mission)
The problem with this approach is that indeed it is true that people can get community outside of church. Every time I drive through Masi, I see community all around me. A deeper sense of community than I have ever lived in. So, community is a basic human need, but can be attained in goth communities, at bars, at work, and in many other places under the sun.
People need church for other things, though! And I would submit that when community is a part of those other things, it's more powerful than any community you would find apart from them.
So, what do people need church for?
Worship. People need church for worship. They want to be a part of the community that is worshiping something bigger than anything on earth. They long for deep connection to the creator that has formed to them and made them in his image. They long to fill a hole in their lives that only worship of Jesus can fill.
Mission. People need church for mission. We all long to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. To join into healthy church, you join into the mission of God. People long to be a part of a community that is loving the lost, the broken, the hurting, the less fortunate, and the neglected people of the earth.
So, let me say it this way: People can get basic community almost anywhere. But, when community meets worship and mission, then you've got something very unique and with deep meaning...and God breathes on it...and we call that CHURCH.