Today on social media, I saw a post with the following photograph attached.
NOTE: the post said that this was as true today as it was when it was written.
Here’s the photograph:
Now, no offense intended here, however I’m being honest…the list in this photograph is more or less useless.
It doesn’t have anything to do with “Church etiquette” or the Church being the Church, but instead has everything to do with “Church attendance” and the single hour a week that people “go to church”. And even in that it misses the mark.
I think this needs to be corrected to reflect what the Bible actually says about the church rather than our western idea of what the Church is. So here is my version using what the Bible tells us about the church and how we ought to live (NOTE: The following list is by no means an exhaustive one, but merely attempting to take what was put in the image above and make it accurate):
1. Gather – there will be times you can’t gather, but understand the importance of gathering and do your best to be there with each other. (Hebrews 10:25)
2. Gather often – the church doesn’t just gather together on a Sunday for an hour. Do life together. Walk with one another. Be in each other’s life 7 days a week and not just part of 1 day a week. (Acts 2:46-47)
3. Your family is your first discipleship appointment – your wife, your husband, your children…these are disciples that God has placed in your home. Do not neglect them or think less of them. They are your first and greatest discipleship relationship. Make every moment of every day count. (1 Timothy 5:8)
4. Serve others – Don’t chastise the backslidden but exhort them, encourage them, and walk with them. Serve one another as brothers and sisters in the Lord, treating one another as family. Serve the mother who has her hands full of children. Serve the father who is working hard to support his family. Serve the poor man who is struggling to find enough to eat. (1 Peter 4:10-11)
5. Be equipped and go – The church is not a gathering or a place to come check off a list. We gather together to equip one another to go and do the work of the ministry 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our worship doesn’t begin or end with a song, but begins and ends with the opening and closing of our eyes and the beginning and ending of our breath. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
6. Help unbelievers know Jesus – Don’t point them to a book, point them to the person of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
7. Love others as you love yourself – this is what Jesus said would be the sign to the unbelieving world that we are His. (John 13:34-35)
8. Be generous – everything is God’s anyway. Do not withhold from those in need. Be generous with your time, talents, and treasures not only with the local Church body but with any person you may encounter in this life. (Romans 12:9-21)
9. Never rush for power or control – The church is not yours, it is the Lords. Even those who we call “leaders” are not in power or control over the church. Jesus said to his disciples, “25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)
10. Never walk away from Jesus because of the faults of those in the Church – The church is people, and as such they are full of flaws. Each one is in a different place in their walk with Jesus. So don’t walk away from Jesus just because some of his followers aren’t acting like Jesus all the time. He is your Savior, not them. (1 Corinthians 3:4-9)