Are We Useless

We just celebrated 120 years of ministry as an organized body of Christians. What a wonderful accomplishment. I want us to think back for a moment and ask ourselves this question: Why did they organize?  The year was 1898.  William McKinley was president and the Spanish-American War was going on. Trains were the main source of mass transportation and “horseless carriage” were just rare and for the wealthy; most people having never seen nor heard of them.  The overwhelming majority of people had no telephone or other communication device.
So what motivated the people in a small community to organize a church?  First let’s look  at the social aspects of the local church “back then”. The church was usually also the local school and was fundamental in teaching the three R’s: “Readin’, Ritin’, and Rythmatic”. Along with the occasional barn dance, church socials and picnics were where families got together.  I suspect that is where many young folks met their eventual spouse. Of course churches were necessary for weddings and funerals, too. The church impacted the community in so many ways.
Some of those things have changed, however.  The local church is no longer needed for school.  The social aspect has certainly diminished as people gather most often for entertainment, dining out, and sporting events. Many weddings are celebrated at wedding “venues” and funeral homes conduct many funeral services.
Are we useless, then? Heavens no!  The sweetest social interaction is still as the body gathers together, whether it be for services or fellowship.  I may be an old fuddy duddy but being with my fellow believers is still my favorite part of social life.
We must remember, though, that the most important aspect has to do with the Gospel.  We know, of course, that churches existed for the proclamation of the Gospel.  How can people hear if no one preaches to them? (Romans 10:14). But it was also for the preservation of the Gospel. The purity of Christian teachings needed to be upheld. Sound doctrine is of utmost importance. Those two things are still the bedrock foundation of our purpose as a church.  And what we preach and what we teach are still the most important things we do:  They determine our eternal destination and our quality of life, both personally and in the structure of our society.  I’d say we still have an important role, wouldn’t you?
Say good things about you church and about your Savior.
Bro. Tony