In January at Hillslife Church we tried to shake it up a bit … look at what we are doing and why.

Ever considered what church was like, before there was church. After all, Jesus wasn’t a Christian! He was Jewish, he attended synagogue.

So why do we get so caught up in the rituals, routines and rules of religion; when Jesus didn’t even attend church (though he did attend synagogue every Saturday).

For me, religion is blindly following the rules and routines as if we were singing karaoke. Arrive, shake greeters hand, follow the words on screen while we sing a few songs, listen to prayers, listen to bible readings and message, might sing again and finish with tea and coffee … wait a week then repeat.

If that sounds like church to you … then you’ve got it all wrong!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.” Matthew 23:13-14

If your view of Christianity has been tainted by church … I’m sorry. If your view of God has been obscured by rituals and routines … I’m sorry. If your faith is measured by your actions and what you can do or give … I’m sorry.

I’m sorry if you have been led astray by false teaching or a lack of knowledge.

For God is love. The gospel is good news … and when you enter into a real relationship with Jesus, with the Father and with the Holy Spirit, then you are promised the fruits of that relationship. You will be filled with love, joy and peace, with patience, kindness and goodness, and gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

You can have a true experience of deep love, real joy and inner peace here and now when you encounter God the Father.

It’s not church, it’s not religion, it’s not how many scriptures you quote or how much you can give.

It is simply entering a relationship with the creator. He so desires to connect with you and share His love and His gifts – yet is humble enough to allow it to be your choice.

Don’t settle for karaoke, faith without power, a religious life full of rituals and routines. Rather seek a relationship with Jesus and the joy it brings.