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While growing up I am thinking that I wasn't the only boy or teenager that uttered the words, “Do we have to go” or “Do I have to go.” This “going” of course for many in the South, which is commonly referred to as the “Bible belt,” was primarily related to Sunday mornings and to a building where Sunday school and Sunday services happened week after week. (Well, actually in the 80’s we went Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday nights.)  Now at the age of, somewhere in the 30’s I am able to be thankful for those earlier days where I had a mentality of going to “church” even though so much of what Jesus had made possible for me was missing.

However, now in my life I have stopped going to the “church” and have purposed not to instill such a mentality and way of life in the next generation. Instead, I intend on being the “church” that God has created me to be through the new birth in Christ as well as going to the gathering of followers of Jesus Christ as often as I can.

Why?

I still believe that the Holy Spirit has provided spiritual words regarding spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:13). Also, I believe that those God-inspired words provided by the Holy Spirit can be found in the Scriptures that were the result of Him moving upon “holy men of God” (2 Peter 1:21 & 2 Timothy 3:16).

One of such words is the “church” which in the Greek language is “ekklesia” (Strong’s #1577). This word chosen by the Holy Spirit communicates God’s intention and work for those following Jesus Christ. “Ekklesia” caries the idea of those called out from one place into another gathering together.

It speaks of God’s eternal purpose to have sons and daughters brought near to Him through the regeneration provided in Jesus Christ and the corporate mission for those who have accepted the call out of a position of sin into a position of right standing. (See Ephesians 1:5-18 & Titus 3:4-8)

“Ekklesia” speaks to God’s eternal purposes of relationships AND responsibility as even revealed in the beginning. (See Genesis 1:26-28)

So, I have concluded too no longer go to church but as I am going through life to be the church, which God has already created me to be in Christ Jesus through the new birth, and to then function as a part of the corporate purpose for the body  by gathering with other “called out ones” for missional purposes. (See 1 Corinthians 12)

And in the end, I guess it is because I still believe that words matter. Words communicate ideas as well as mentalities. Then ideas and mentalities direct the affairs of my life.

Therefore:

I have stopped going to church by accepting I am a part of the church and as a part of the church I go to the gatherings of such people who are on mission, God’s mission that is.

I am starting to live with the mentality that I am a part of the church and therefore gather with the church on mission.

I do this as a part of a new work of God's people - Dwelling Place in the North Marietta & Woodstock Ga region.

Hebrews 12:23 - To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect ,

Hebrews 10:24-25 - And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Peace,

Chad

www.chadcraigministries.org


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