Welcome to the Patchwork Blog! I hope you enjoy reading my random thoughts about life, Jesus and the freedom he offers.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Church as an idol?

Ever since Mandy asked the question "I am wondering why you are doing what clearly makes you feel uncomfortable?", I have been wondering why I seem to be pulled to getting so involved with a church again. I think agreeing to lead the Bible study and helping out on the morning of the ladies breakfast was going too fast too soon. I rushed back onto auto-pilot. Big mistake!

I think I am getting Church and God mixed up in my heart.  I think perhaps I need to rethink what it means to be a member of the church. I need to rethink my role as a Christian in the local church. It's almost like being a 'good' member of the church, and being approved of by them is more important than spending time with God and building up my relationship with Him again. Or its like I think that in order to love God I must get deeply involved in the church straight away.

I have made this leap of faith, and  I have chosen to believe in God  but for some reason I am going back to what it was like before. Church before God. I need to start as I mean to go on and worship God first, not Church. The Westminster Confession says  "Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever."  I have started to believe in God again but now my focus has gone off God and onto Church.
If I don't make God my first priority then I will end up burnt out as I was before.  I think I need to learn to get a balance between loving God and building my relationship with Him, and  my need to be involved in the local church. At the moment it is veering back to being tipped in favour of Church again. If there is a God and I have made a step of faith, by choosing to believe that there is one, then He must come first.  It is God who gives me eternal life, not the church.

Am I worshipping God or the church?
 I don't think I have realised before how much my faith is tied up in what I do at Church. Even as I write this I am realising how much my view of God is tied up in being accepted by the local church rather than by being accepted by God. Being a Christian has been about faith for me but a large part of it has been being involved in the church. Church has become my God.  Being involved in church, and what the church think of me has been my idol. I want God to be my God not Church. I want to learn to spend time with God for His sake, not for how church will view me.


  1. It's interesting that Willow Creek, considered one of the most successful churches in the world (Bill Hybels is from there) discovered a couple of years ago that actually a significant proportion of its congregation were thoroughly involved with church, but had no authentic, personal relationship with God. I totally understand where you are coming from with this! I work in full time Christian ministry, but actually my personal daily relationship with God far outweighs the relationship that I have with the church. Don't get me wrong, I love my brothers and sisters and seeing them on a Sunday and worshipping God with them - but I find I have to work at keeping a perspective where God is No 1, not the church.

  2. Thanks for that. I think there is such a danger with getting people too dependant on Church and what we do, rather than on Jesus Himself. I never want to lose what I have with Jesus now. He is the reason for all my recent joy not the church.

  3. I can see why people end up putting church first. Its where there physical needs are met and where they can have physical contact with others and have there egos stroked. Jesus on the other hand is not seen, putting him first means not always being part of the crowd and sometimes saying and doing things which the group are not happy about. In some ways by past of not doing well with people has helped me with having Jesus as my friend. I never have to explain and he understands me which many people don't.
    Lynda I have found times when I question what I believe, but each time I return to the time I first believed and the awesome love he showed me. I am glad and thank God that he has shown you the way home.