I think that the way that we do church today makes it harder for us to understand how integrated God wants to be with every part of our lives.
Lately I’ve been thinking about what relationship with God really means. How are we to interact with him? When are we to talk to him and how are we to do it? How does my life here on earth interface with a supernatural being that I can’t see?
Here’s what I’m realizing. God it interested in every part of our lives (a la Psalm 139). He never wanted to be just another "part" of our lives, he wants to be a part of everything in our lives. In other words, he wants his relationship with us to be our lifestyle.
So if God is a part of everything we do, than we’re never really apart from him. In addition, John 15 says that we are to "abide in him". Other translations word that as "make our home in him". What do we do at home? We live.
So what does church today involve?
1) We have to get ready for church.
2) We have to go to church (by leaving our home).
3) We have to change how we dress.
4) We sit in formal, organized rows and mostly listen.
Is it any wonder that we can start to view our relationship with God as periodic series of events, rather than an "always-on" connection? He becomes something we sit and watch, at a place we go to, after we make sure we look right.
I realize that church services serve a purpose. It’s the only kind of venue where we can have loud praise with instruments and sound systems. We can fit a lot more people together in a service. But services are a terrible metaphor for our always-on, integrated relationship with God.
God is always here, always with me. He’s just as much with me at work as he is at church. I no longer go to church to find Him, I go because I live with Him.