Doing Church, Or Living It?

I’m growing my hair out.
I’m not happy about it, but my husband likes it longer so every once in a while I try growing it out for his sake. I figure I’ll soon be too old to sport a long style, so I’m trying it once again while the meter’s still running. My daughter is twelve. She just cut her long hair short. Our hair stylist told her it makes her look older. Laura liked that. Funny though, the last time I got my hair cut short the same lady told me it made me look younger. I’m suspicious.
So now my short haircut, that apparently made me look younger, is four months old and in that awkward in-between stage making it difficult to do anything with, and even more difficult to not go get cut off. In desperation, I enlisted my daughter’s help. I thought maybe she could do something with it. We heated up all our flat irons and curling irons. We got out all of our products, cause you know you gotta have products, and she went to work.
After a few different tries, she realized that this in between stage really is hard to make something out of, so she decided to just have fun and make her mom look loopy. At about the loopiest point, the doorbell rang. My husband was gone with my older boys, and not wanting to send my daughter or my youngest to the door alone, I had to answer it looking like an escapee from the loony bin. I decided to act as though I thought my hair was awesome. I answered the door with a straight face.
Standing at my door was a very normal looking woman about my age.
I didn’t know her. I could tell she was trying not to look at my hair, and I was offering no explanation. I noticed her hair looked quite nice. She launched into telling me about her brand new church, and that she wanted to invite me to come to their revival. I was sure she thought my hair needed to be relieved of its demon. I had a really hard time not smiling at that point. In addition to my crazy hair, the thought of a brand new church holding a revival tickled my funny bone.
I thought, really? You’re new church is already in need of revival? I wanted to say, “That’s not good”. I could understand having a VIVAL, but a RE-vival?
In spite of my hair, the lady gave me the flier she was holding with the information about her church’s revival. Not once did she even crack a grin at my hair. I was proud of her.
It makes me sad that churches feel the need to hold revivals at all.
Usually it means someone thinks the church is in need of a good shot in the arm to renew the life that should be there already. The thing is, what gives life to a church should never go away, but it sometimes does. Church becomes something we do rather than something we are. I think that’s probably the root of the revival problem. There’s just too many people “doing” church and not enough people living it.
(Late entry: The pastor that gave the message at my church today said that churches are filled with “cultural Christians” who want just enough of God to spend eternity with Him, but not enough of God to change their lives. I think he’s right.)
As Christians, we are to be the church everyday.
Everyday we have the abundant power of the Holy Spirit (the same Spirit that raised Jesus from death) that dwells within us. That power never runs low. I think that it’s when we do church under our own power that the interest and enthusiasm dry up, the excitement fades, it becomes a ho-hum experience, and folks start running around planning revivals. But when we live our lives everyday as the church, when we live as our own unique part of the body of Christ, living under the power of the Holy Spirit, we don’t need no stinkin’ revivals!
Maybe consider this, are you doing church or are you living it? If you are living it, how are you living it? What does that look like for you?

2 thoughts on “Doing Church, Or Living It?

  1. Thanks, as always, for your insight and wisdom.  The boy and I had a long discussion the other night, er morning at 4:00, about the responsibilities of the church and what we are not doing that we should be doing.  It is helpful to stop and think and remember our responsibility as the body of Christ.  More importantly, we must remember that being IN the church, is not the same as BEING the church.  Too many of those searching see those who are IN and wonder why we bother.

  2. True Patty… too many of us IN church aren’t BEING the church… well said. So many times I’ve heard someone say something like, “So glad to hear he/she’s back in church…” Well, ok, but taking up space in the building alone doesn’t really count for much does it?Thanks!

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