Bringing God to Church

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

Stone and stained glass form a church, a physical structure where we gather. Grandmothers and toddlers form a church, a living breathing community singing, praying, sharing bread and wine. Our definition of church has been challenged and stretched during the pandemic. What does it mean to be the gathered people of God when gathering poses a health risk?

On several Sundays in January we had the additional risks of icy roads and frigid temperatures and that force of nature known as “The Chiefs” which also influences the number of folks who show up in person to worship in the sanctuary or chapel. Some of you have asked me if I am worried when church attendance dips low.

And that makes me wonder, what is the real definition of church. We are the people, called by God. We are God’s gathered community. But God comes alive in our midst in many ways. A young man said to me recently, “It was on that church trip to Greece several years ago when I got to know people in a new way that the church finally became for me a place I never wanted to be without in my life.” And others have mentioned, “It is in my small group Bible study where I feel church really happening.” I often tell the church staff that the true measure of success in the church is not only the numbers but it is when lives intersect and grace is present that we know we have been the church. We gather, in twos and threes and in dozens and hundreds, but it is when God breathes in us that church has happened.

I am reminded of a favorite scene of mine from the movie The Color Purple:

“…have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.”

I was visiting in the home of a member last week. She had just come home from the hospital following surgery. I asked her about another church member who recently had surgery. And then as I went out the front door, there was on the front porch a chocolate cake, delivered by that other church member who herself was recovering from a serious illness. And I felt God breathe.

Thank you for all the ways you bring God with you to church. Thank you for sharing God with each other.

Grace and Peace,

To send a message to Carla, click HERE.

Lara Schopp

Director of Communications
Country Club Christian Church