Is This the “Right Church”?

When you hear the word “church”, what comes to mind? What is a church? Is it the building, or the people inside? The place your family drags you to every week, or God’s future family? A place you’d rather keep your distance from, or somewhere you like going?

A church is not a building, it’s the people inside. It’s more than a place you go, it should be the people you love.

There are thousands of religions in the world, and even more churches. You might wonder how I, as a teenager, can be sure that I am in the right church. Actually, I don’t believe there is such a thing as the “right church.” Every church is different, but in its purest sense, it can be defined as the followers of God. How do I know this is true? In the bible, when the word “church” is used, it is translated from Greek to English. If you go back to the original Greek language, church is “ecclesia” which means “called out ones”. Christians are people who are called out of the world and want to become like Christ. In the New Testament, when Jesus came to Earth, people decided to follow Him and His teachings. This is how the first church started.

In Psalm 133:1, It says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” David was writing about praising God, and it was clear to him that one of the most important ways to please Him is to fellowship with other believers. In Matthew 18:20, it says, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” It’s clear from this scripture that God values connections we make with His people.  We should make an effort to be united with members of the church.

My Experience at CGI

I am very happy at the Church of God International (CGI), because it is exactly that: the church of God. I can tell that God’s spirit and people are here.

Many churches at this time are aging. Young people sometimes stop going to church as soon as they can, claiming that it’s not for them. I think this might be because they don’t feel included in the church. If young people are not allowed and encouraged to get involved at church, the church will quickly start being “a” church, instead of their church. If they begin to wonder “what’s in it for me?” and come to the conclusion that it isn’t helping them in any way, they will probably leave.

One of the main reasons I like CGI is that I can get involved. I don’t feel like I am being forced to attend my parents’ church; this is my church too. I have made lasting friendships with the other teens, and together, we take on service roles in our church. We can serve in many ways like singing in the choir, helping out in the kitchen and helping to organize church events. Even though I am a teen, I feel like a valued member of our congregation. The Bible teaches that it is important to put others before yourself, so we make an effort to help out whenever we can and as we do, we mature.

Not Perfect but Growing

I’m not trying to present CGI as a perfect utopian society. It can be dangerous to think there isn’t room to grow. This church is constantly growing and getting better.

So, next time you hear the word “church”, I hope you think of a group of people dedicated to improving and becoming more like Christ. I hope this blog post has given you something to think about.

  • Guest

    It’s great to see a young person thinking about her place in God’s church.

  • Guest

    This post was very insightful. I hope I can participate more in the Church to make it become more my own.

  • Paety

    this is amazing, i am definitely going to look at church differently now. this is so uplifting, and very well written. my outlook on church is for sure going to be different from now on.

  • Guest

    As a teen, finding my very own church has always been a challenge. Glad to see someone’s opinion I can relate to!

  • Drew D

    Rachel,

    I think you are fortunate to be able to be involved as a teen. I do not think this is the norm in the different COG organizations, or even within CGI as a whole. I am currently working with Mike James, Charles Groce, and Bill Watson in getting a more interactive teen demographic. Your comments and views are very encouraging to me as I try to assess how teens are currently involved in and how they view themselves in relation to to their church. I am sure Bill Watson will keep the Toronto congregation informed as things progress, but if not be sure to bug him when he visits.

  • D Shawn Wideman

    R – Repent, and believe the Good News. Mark 1:15
    E – Every spirit that confesseth that YASHUA the Messiah is come in the flesh is of YAHWEH 1John 4:2
    P – Pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. Matthew 5:44
    E – Except a man be born-again he cannot see the Kingdom of YAHWEH. John 3:3
    N – Neglect not so great a salvation. Hebrews 2:3
    T – Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto
    your souls. Matthew 11:29
    A – Abolish the idols in your heart. Isaiah 2:18
    N – Now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know
    even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
    C – Call on YAHWEH while he is near. Isaiah 55:6
    E – Earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 3

    Repentace in the Old Testament means turning or turning specifically to YAHWEH. In turning to YAHWEH, the Self-Existent One, one must be turning from something and specifically something that is not pleasing to YAHWEH. In the Strongs Concordance the meaning of repentance is ruefulness or desistance #5164 in the Hebrew. To be rueful means to be filled with regret and desistance means to discontinue or cease from an action.

    YAHWEH spoke these words, ” If my people who are called by My Name would humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

    For all have sinned and come short of the excellence of Elohim. Romans 3:23

    Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of YASHUA the Messiah for the remission of sins
    and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

    Be attracted by and seek the light of YASHUA THE MESSIAH, who promises and will give you everlasting life.
    Be NOT attracted by the ways of the world that sek to destroy you !