Don’t Go To Church, by Chris Hooper
Don’t go to church
Be the church
Stop attending a service
Once or twice a month
Or even thrice or more
Stop attending and rather gather
Collect with the “also called”
Join in their songs and chants and prayers
Offer up your own
Bring with you Christ
And as the church reforms
Every Sunday, a great mystery you will see
God with us: proclaimed, professed, possessed
A family of “also called” sinners becomes a radiant bride
So don’t settle to go to church
Watching, attending, observing, critiqueing
Rather be, remain, and reform weekly or more
The mysterious gathering of little Christ-ones
That reconstitute his collected body, his rebuilt temple, his restored family
The group of misfit rebels, sinners, and malcontents
That the Father called, the Son redeemed, the Holy Spirit sealed
Come rejoice and worship. Come greet and embrace
Come expect divine engagement because the “also called” ones have reconvened
Don't settle for going to church this Sunday.
Jesus didn’t die for that
But he did die for those he “also called” friends
Even me. Even you.
I’ll see you when we gather next
together his body, his bride, his people.
Christopher Hooper recently began serving as pastor of First Evangelical Free Church of Brooklyn, NY (http://firstfreebrooklyn.org) after working in an executive pastoral role for several years at Open Door Fellowship Church in Denver, CO (http://odfdenver.org). His wife and ministry collaborator Holly has supported him for a couple of decades while his boys, Maxwell and Miles have brought him joy and pride for over a decade. Chris doesn’t tweet (but enjoys those who do), and can often be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.