Silverbirch Evangelical Church

Glorify the Lord with us

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What is the point of church anyway?

The dramatic descent into the San Diego, California airport had earned it the unenviable reputation of one of the most dangerous approaches in the world. The millions of twinkling lights in the still clearness of a California evening made it easy to pick out some of the local land marks, one unremarkable building I looked out for lay right under the flight path, the small church that we belonged to.  But, this building was not the church, only the building in which the church met. The church was spread across the city for most of the week, coming together in this building on weekends and in homes during the week. The members and visitors would come together to worship, pray &  learn together just like the countless local churches throughout the United States, Northern Ireland and the whole world – so what is the point of church? Is it a holy social club or an establishment for respectable people (or those who like to think they are)?  Is it a place to go once in a while to keep on good terms with “the Man upstairs”.  A place to be married or buried from, or is it irrelevant for a modern society?

Church is about people:

The Bible presents the Church as the followers of Jesus Christ, living together in community with each other and with Him. Jesus compares this close connection to the parts of a human body.  Just as our feet take their direction from our brains and our legs and arms work together to move us forward to walk or run, so are the people who follow Jesus are to live in close relationship with Him and each other. When we get hurt, we use the other parts of our body to care for the part which hurts. Just as our hands rub an aching muscle or dry the tears from our eyes, so Jesus’ followers are to care for each other.

Church is about family:

Another picture the Bible gives us to help explain the Church is that of a family, the “family of God”. Love is the foundation of the family, not a ‘feel good’ love, but a deep commitment of the family members to put the others and their needs first. Of course, in our own families, we often get this wrong and sometimes hurt each other. As children grow, they hopefully learn to share – allowing their brothers and sisters to take turns on the bike, the games consol… Food, shelter, care, discipline and love are essential to a child’s growth. God has provided the Christ-focused Church as an environment for all his followers to grow and learn together in a safe environment.  Sometimes we get it wrong but because we are with people who care about us, they will help and encourage us to get back on the bicycle and try again.

Church is about hope:

One evening I was caught high in the Mourne Mountains with two friends. We had misjudged the onset of darkness and were not equipped for a night on the mountain. In the fading light we stumbled over boulders, tussocks and streams trying to find our way. Without the aid of our compasses or maps the darkness deepened and we had no visual references to guide us. Eventually we saw the light of a farmhouse in the valley below. Following that light was our only hope. The world’s many philosophies offer little hope, at best they say there is no hope, so, live for the moment or do your best and maybe it will work out okay!  The church that is committed to Jesus Christ is described as a “light”. You may be seeking for something you can’t quite put your finger on; the church is a light to those lost in the hills who want to find “The Way”, joy and hope!

Church is not for perfect people:

One common misconception is that only respectable people go to church, sadly this can be really off-putting.  The reality is that the true church is filled with broken, imperfect people, people probably not that different to you or I! Whether or not you have yet experienced the joy of God’s forgiveness, the Church is there to help you –

YOU are the point of Church!