3 Things You Can Not Do In Church

I was initially surprised at this teacher’s great respect for our church building – a level of honour that not even our own congregation members hold to.

Exodus 25:1-40

Reference: v.8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.” (TNIV Bible)

Explore: When I was a chaplain at a State Primary school I would often hold services or training programs for the children in our church building. It was directly opposite the school so this was a great opportunity for the church to literally open our doors to our community.

On one of these occasions I noticed one of the supervising teachers take his hat off when he walked through the church door. Later on he chastised a child for having their feet on the pews (something that our congregation members did ALL the time!). And then after I was finished running the service I was chatting to the teacher up the back. He assured me that he had taken his hat off when he entered, he’d told the children off when they had their feet on the seats, but apologised profusely when he realised that he was chewing gum in the church.

I was initially surprised at this teacher’s great respect for our church building – a level of honour that not even our own congregation members hold to. However, upon reflection I realised the difference. This teacher, who had had some connection with a fairly regimented church, believed he needed to act differently in a church building, as God must be more present here. Whereas our congregation, on the other hand, believed that you can connect to God any time in any place.

Application: It seems this school teacher was treating our church building a little like the Ark that the Israelites were instructed to make in Exodus. The Ark was a specially made, ornate box where God said he would be present – one special place that was more holy than any other.

Whereas Jesus taught us that we could now access God anywhere. We don’t need a special communion table, chairs pointing in a particular direction or an altar to have a place of worship. It can be anywhere and any time.

Prayer: Lord, may I not save my worship times just for when I’m in a church building, but connect with you every day. Amen.

What traditions does your church community still follow that may not be completely necessary to connect with God?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.

2 comments:

Rich GirardinNovember 21, 2011 at 9:19 PMReply

This artical had made me stop to consider what I think about how I conduct myself in church. On the one hand I certainly don’t want to worship a building or put it above God’s holy purpose. On the other, there are God’s people coming together for a very holy purpose at a time and place set apart from their normal routine, to do business with the one who is deserving of our attention and who can truly make a difference in our lives. It seems to me this makes it holy ground.

Anissa MakrisJanuary 16, 2012 at 11:06 PMReply

I believe we are to walk in our faith daily and consider the world our church. We should all live out our faith in front of all who we encounter. We are the salt of the world and it takes just a little salt to change the taste of any dish. Strive to live the life as Christ guided us and I believe true peace will be felt inside no matter the trials and difficulties this world throws out way. I also find much solace and pleasure in sharing my faith through my writing. When I receive feedback from readers, it causes my Spirit to swell inside knowing I have opened another person’s eyes (or someone on the fence) to God’s gift of peace through faith in this troubled world. I see so much more evil in many ways in today’s world. If not for my faith, I would probably lose my mind. God is so wonderful, he takes away the pain from the sins of this world against me and the trials set in my path. I hope everyone else who reads this passes it on. We are in very troubling times now as we enter 2012 and it is very important believers stand together in the truth without being concerned with the way those of this world look at us. Stay strong and overcome and an amazing rest will await us in the Father’s house before our final return her to earth to live and reign with Christ. This should be what all believers should strive for. I give you all my many blessings and prayers for strength to overcome this world’s trials and tribulations. As I wrote back in 2004 – our “Final Destination: Rest” is what we all are promised and will receive; as long as we do not give in to the ways of the world today. God Bless to all in these days of brith pangs.

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