Have you ever played church?
You know where you (if you attend a more formal church) put on your best Sunday suit/dress or (if you attend a more postmodern, casual church) you put on your best tshirt/jeans. You also end up putting on your best “everything is great” smile and casually work the room only to see everybody else’s “everything is great” smile. Playing church is where you are content with showing up for an hour, getting your God-fix, checking off another Sunday of perfect attendance, and leaving without really connecting with God or another person. It’s where the church stops being the body of Christ and becomes a building or a service. Playing church is putting God in a two hour a week box (or a three hour a week box if you are really hardcore). It’s where you ask people “How are you?” without really caring to listen to the answer. Playing church is when your Sundays look a lot different from your Mondays through Saturdays.
I must confess that there have been times when I have been guilty of playing church.
Over the past few days, God has been stirring something inside of me – a real discontent with playing church. I have been searching God’s Word for what the body of Christ – known as the church – should look like, should act like, and should love like. The Lord has led me with fresh eyes to read the book of Acts again. Here is a beautiful description of the early church from Acts 2…
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as they had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
I have been in a lot of churches in my life. I have yet to be in a church that looks like that. Does your church look like that?
Now this post is not intended to blast and tear down the American church. Rather, it is intended to raise awareness to the fact that maybe, just maybe we have messed church up a little. This is intended to raise curiosity to the possibility of there being more to this thing we call church. What if our churches started to look more like that Scripture? Would you want to be a part of a community of faith like that?
I am tired of playing church. How about you?