The Way I See It, A Pastor’s Perspective

Southaven,MS

I remember asking the Lord some time ago why He allowed there to be so many different churches. A church on every corner, and each one a different denomination at that. There are cathedrals and temples, cowboy churches and high churches, casual churches and biker churches (which I attend), massive mega churches and small storefront churches; the list is endless. Why not one church? After all, God is a God of unity and harmony!
So, I asked Him, “Why such a variety”?
His response was gentle and matter of fact, as always. He replied “I will plant whatever type of church the people will attend in order to have them come to Me and have a personal relationship with Me.”

Well that makes perfect sense. If they won’t attend ‘high church’, give them a casual, laid back church. If they don’t like the old hymns give them contemporary worship. If they don’t like loud music, give them hymnals and a piano. He’s a very accommodating Savior!
But there’s a truth I have previously stated that we tend to overlook.
We who are Christians are the church, not the buildings we attend. Jesus had this exchange with Peter in Matthew 16:15-18….

15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”

The rock that He would build His church on was the revelation Peter had in verse 16; that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ. Therefore, we as the church need to have the revelation of who Christ is at the very center of what we do. And we the church need to look like Him no matter what church building we attend. We should all reflect Jesus! We should all walk in love; we should all deny sin in our lives; we should all be givers; we should all keep the commands of the Lord; we should all strive to be holy. We should all look like Jesus on Earth!
That said, if you are attending a church that doesn’t preach these principles and doesn’t charge you with being accountable regarding your lifestyle, then flee that church regardless of how comfortable it may be, or how “right up your alley” it is!

We should all strive to be in a church that reflects the attributes of the Early Church. A former Pastor of mine, the late Herbert Yandell, used to comment on the Early Church in this way; “The Early Church is more accurately described as the ‘early days of the church’ because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
And he was right! Jesus hasn’t changed, and neither should His church. We should all be prayer warriors, worshippers, and lovers of the body; and we should all be visiting and laying hands on the sick and we should be in the world doing good deeds. Anything less is not a reflection of the attributes of our early days!

If you’re not in church right now, find yourself a good Bible centered fellowship that fits you and your tastes. More than likely there are dozens of churches near you, and certainly at least one will fit! You need fellowship and you need to be in a place that allows you to worship and you need the word of the Lord in you! Keep searching! Remember that YOU are the church, and you’re looking for Jesus, not a building!
And that’s the way I see it.

Chaplain Mike Upchurch
Team RFC®
Racers For Christ®