Church vs. Jesus

September 27, 2020 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Janet Morris Grimes –

Church—as much a part of my life as brushing my teeth. There are few Sundays that I don’t recall being there. Walking in late, perhaps, but fulfilling my spot on the second pew, with pride.

Three years ago, a move to a state 10 hours away forced me to find a new church. But soon, I settled in to the front row, ready to worship on a weekly basis.

Attending church is a habit that can be viewed many different ways. Many people attend for the social interaction, the family atmosphere, the children’s or youth programs, the worship experience, or the motivational speaking.

I treasure each of those things.

It’s the magnetic pull of a face-to-face encounter with Jesus that makes me walk through those doors. I need to kneel at the cross, as if Jesus and I were the only two people in the room. I need to be held accountable for my actions, to let go of my doubts, to deepen my relationship. I need to be whacked upside the head with a different viewpoint, to change my way of thinking and in the process, continue to change my life.

I need my life to look much different, because I’ve centered it on Jesus, than it would on its own.

That is why I attend church.

But at times, I fear church, as an institution, becomes more focused on itself than on Jesus. With small groups, committees, events, programs, budgets, worship preferences, elder appointments, class schedules, potluck luncheons, food drives, and membership directories, it can be difficult to walk in the door and find Jesus.

And I should be good at this worship thing by now. Imagine what it might feel like to a newcomer, a visitor, the one who seeks God for the first time.

Church should always be about Jesus. Without His presence, the church can become a club for really nice people.

I know enough now to seek Jesus on a daily basis. I cannot depend on the church to do that for me. It is a personal relationship, seven days a week.

But never let it be said that church gets in the way of finding Jesus. I don’t want to argue worship preferences. I want to find Jesus. I don’t want to lament the change to a new service time. I want to find Jesus. I don’t want to criticize the pastor, I want to find Jesus.

It is only once we kneel together as one at the foot of the cross, that we find Jesus. Only then, can we go into the world and be the church to them.

The church is the body of Christ—a group of people learning to be more like Jesus. The church is not a building, an institution, or a social activity. Attending is not a ritual that we choose because our grandmothers did it for 90 years before us. And it’s not a club for really nice people.

But never let it be said that church gets in the way of finding Jesus. Because when this happens, it may be time to find a new church.

About Janet Morris Grimes

Janet is the author of The Parent's Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, released in April of 2011 through Atlantic Publishing. She launched Abbandoned Ministries in 2010, which leads others through her writing and speaking to seek God, as Abba, during times of abandonment. She currently writes monthly for Christian Woman Today, the grief website Open to Hope, and Mamapedia. For additional information on Janet, visit her website at or
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3 Responses to “Church vs. Jesus”
  1. Great relevant and thought provoking article, Janet!

  2. “Church should always be about Jesus.” Amen, sister! If a church is focusing on Jesus, none of that other stuff will matter.

  3. Hally Franz says:

    What a gift it is to find that church home that satisfies the needs for worship, education, fellowship that we have, which are unique to each individual. What a blessing to enjoy all those while praising, learning about, and being in His presence. Thanks, Janet!

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