In the first part of this post I discussed what happens when we make the “big mistake”: when we confuse the church and the Gospel. I suggested that the results are pretty dire — and that they constitute a key reason people are leaving the church. But I ended by asking “how do we get church right? Can we get it right? Is church even important?”
Church is important and we can get it right!
In practice there is no question that Christians need community. In practice, if not inevitably, we hear the Gospel from other Christians. In practice, we need the beauty, the music, the inspiration, and sense of identity that churches provide. In practice, we need institutional structures to spread the Gospel. In practice, we need social spaces to live and struggle with the Gospel. In practice, we need support of others when our own faith goes cold, or when life takes a turn for the worse. In practice, even the hardships and struggle of Christian community can be important for nurturing our faith — i.e. the challenge of being church can be quite key.