Friends with Benefits?

This morning in my devotions, I read through 1 Corinthians 11:17-28. It was a tremendous reminder of the importance of Christ, and Him alone, remaining central to Missio Dei Church. Normally this section of Scripture is used as instructions about the Lord’s Supper and to prepare oneself for communion, but as I was sitting in Paul’s words something jumped out at me; Paul was addressing something that we (culturally) struggle with and will continue to struggle with.

The unfortunate reality is that many of our practices as believers, in regards to church, mirror the social scene of popular society: commitment phobia. If we’re not dating churches, we’re in a long-term relationship with one (church), but still making “friends” with others. And because we’re only dating, we can visit as many churches as we want without fulfilling certain expectations. Or even though we are members at a church (long-term), we can still bail when something goes wrong (because we aren’t actually married). Our membership is solely a matter of time and space, rather than a covenant.

I don’t believe we view church through the proper lens, because we are neglecting the fact that under God we are family. Instead, we seem to want the benefits of a church, without true commitment to one. We may faithfully attend service at a certain location, but the people we do life with and invite to our children’s birthday parties belong to another local body. Sure, we can and should build relationships with other believers, whether we share the same elders or not, but the people we call our “church” should be synonymous with our family. Family is defined by intersection and accountability. Simply put, we need to be sure that we see our church as a covenant family who we share our lives with regularly, not simply weekly.

I began learning the importance of this distinction as I realized the commitment that comes along with the covenant of marriage, yet how loosely I would commit to everything and everyone else. That bond of commitment must be expanded beyond just marriage of man and wife; it must spread into the local bodies comprising Christ’s bride—the Church. So, while Paul exhorts us not to forsake the assembly (Hebrews 10:25), I encourage you not to forsake those who actually comprise that assembly.

Invest in them. Commit to your family.

Leave a Comment

Comments for this post have been disabled.