Thoughts on Church


I grew up as the daughter of a pastor and church planter, thus church has always been an integral part of my life.  The church has always been a place I call home, but it has never been specifically defined by a building.  Growing up I was part of church plants, which met mostly in schools.

Early in high school my friend Bonnie asked me to fill in for her regular baby-sitting job one week when she was ill.  The family was very friendly and the evening went well.  As the father drove me home that night he asked me how I knew Bonnie.  I explained that it was through my church.  He asked which one and then said, “Oh, that’s the one that meets at the high school and doesn’t actually have a church.”  A very indignant 14-year-old me looked the man straight in the eyes and said, “No, we have a church; we just don’t have our own building.” 

To me church has always been defined by the people - a group of individuals joining together with a common purpose: to worship God, spread his love, and serve the world.  I realize that this is not the church that many people know.  Sadly, to many people in the world the church is a place of rules, persecution, and limited perspective.  I have been lucky not to grow up in that church.  I have been known, loved, cared for, and supported.  Yes, these people are human and therefore sinful.  Yes, individuals and groups within the church have come and gone, discouraged, and disappointed me at times, but overall I have had a very positive experience.  I wish I could say that this is who the “Christian church” is in general.  I wish I could point anyone who was interested in having this same experience to any given “Christian church” and expect the same results.  But I can’t.  What I can tell you is that it exists.  The Biblical example of church; a group of people who follow Christ and seek to live out his example of loving and serving others is real and alive today.

Here in Mexico we are part of a house church.  It’s a different experience of church than I have ever had before.  Everything is in Spanish and I’ll be honest I probably only understand about 25% of what is said.  I admit it can be pretty frustrating at times.  The Sunday morning experience is exhausting for me as I struggle to focus my mind and translate as much as I can.  But, what I know is this: I have been welcomed with open arms into a community of believers, they are loving and supportive, and they seek to serve their community.  This is the body of Christ.  This is how the church should be known.

4 comments:

  • TBunting | February 2, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    love this abby, and totally agree with you!

  • Friend Family | February 2, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    So true! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! What a cool experience to go to church in a different country and experience the body of Christ, that is so awesome! Thanks for the reminder that we all belong to the same God:-)

  • Jill | February 3, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Hi Abby!

    Found your blog not too long ago! Congratulations on finding community--what a great experience with a house church.

    I look forward to reading more about Mexico through your eyes!

    -Jill

  • Abby | February 4, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Thanks, Jill. I just took a peek at your blog - it's fun to read about other American expat moms'experiences of living in Mexico. I look forward to reading more about yours in the future.
    Abby

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