GCC Blog

What's life church all about? by Sharon Stoddart

During this time of social restriction, I've asked myself the question 'What's church life all about?' Is it about attending on Sunday, about making social connections? Is it about the volume and quality of the various mid-week programs attended? What is it that outsiders might observe about the relationships within church life?


Jesus said that his followers would be identifiable by their love for each other. John 13:35 says: "If you love one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples".

Acts 2:46-47 says about the early group of believers: "With one accord they continued to meet daily in the temple courts and to break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily, those who were being saved". I am aware that the early church lived in a different time and cultural context, where this fellowship described occurred on a daily basis. But how attractive to "those being saved" is a group characterised by love! It seems to me that the people who were added were not necessarily already saved, but came along, seeking to belong to this loving group, and were saved in the process. 

How atractive to "those being saved" is a group

characterised by love!

There's this old book called "The 5 languages of love" in which a theory of how love is experienced is explained. Gary Chapman says that some folks experience love through receiving gifts, others through spending time together, through words of affirmation, acts of service or physical touch, often, a combination of the lot. In the early church, love was eating together in people's homes and sharing belongings (Acts 4:32). Love is also experienced through non-judgemental acceptance. We see numerous examples of Jesus' acceptance of people who would have been on the fringes of society and considered morally and socially corrupt.

In response to the question 'what is church life all about', I would have to say, 'It's about giving and receiving love'. We are all a part of this love exchange, no one exempt. Listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to make a phone call, to act inclusively, to overlook a fault, in addition to happy m(eatings) -perhaps that's what love looks like in the context of 'church'. What do you think?