The meaning of Church for myself, has changed over the years as I have encountered many different experiences, thus learning many new things.
For some reason, I thought an acrostic poem would help me get started. So….
C is for Christ, who died on the cross for our sins and we come to worship.
H is for healing, as we can come broken and burdened and can leave healed.
U is for unconditional love, that Jesus has for us.
R is for repent, as we come to God asking for forgiveness for our sins.
C is for community, as we all gather together to praise Jesus.
H is for hope, that we can grow and be nurtured within this Church.
I grew up in a typical Christian home, going to Church on Sundays with mum always dressing me in my best clothes and having the best time in Sunday school listening to the stories of Noah, Moses and Zacchaeus. I found that through my high school years, Church became a place that I looked forward to going, because I was able to see my friends. Living half an hour from Wangaratta where I attended Church, meant it was the one time in the week I could actually see them. Also, as I did not have any Christian friends at school, the Church both on Sundays and Friday nights for youth group, became the only place where I would talk about faith with others. I would engage in the worship (often being part of the music team) and would listen to the sermon, yet I did not really take much of it in, nor understand it.
Coming into Kew Student Res last year, I had not determined the meaning of Church for me in my own life and was unsure of my relationship with God. I was under the impression, adopted by many of my school friends, that going to Church meant you were a Christian. I now know there is a lot more to being a Christian than that.
However, I now lived next door to Kew Baptist, instead of 30 mins away, and living with other people who knew God and could teach me many things. I felt part of a community here in Kew and obviously the Church played a major role in that feeling.
I found that I was now actively listening and engaged in what was being said. I was asking questions and I found that I was being challenged in how I was living my life. Through the preaching of pastors Paul and Nick, the random chats with friendly new faces and discussion that would happen back at Res, I became eager to grow and build this relationship with God that I had not fully understood before.
For me, going to church allows me to enter the week feeling fresh and free. It often leaves me thinking about things in my life I could improve on, or prompts me to actively seek God through the week. It refuels me for the week and enables me to give all the worries of the past week to God, while thanking Him for the opportunities I have had. This is what Church means to me.