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Going to Church

Recently I’ve been thinking about why so many people don’t go to church anymore. There can be many reasons for it: getting scheduled to work on a Sunday, moving to a new town and not connecting with any of the churches there, being hurt by someone at a church, or having a baby and not having the energy to go. I don’t know everyone’s reasons for not going but I’ve noticed several of my friends and acquaintances struggling to make it to church on Sunday. It seems to be a widely spread phenomenon. So, I just wanted to share a few reasons why I think going to church is important for believers and if you’ve been struggling to go to church, or have a friend that is struggling, maybe this can help in some small way.

1. It’s important because God’s Word says it is important.

In one of the early letters written to the Hebrew church, the author writes “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Jesus also says “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20) He doesn’t tell us to follow Him by ourselves, but with other people. In fact He even says “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35) People should be able to recognize us as followers of Jesus by how we love other believers. But that doesn’t work so well if you cut yourself off from gathering with fellow believers at church.

2. It’s important because the Church is a body that supports each member.

As Paul writes, “so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5) We all need help. Even if life is going well for you now, eventually something will happen. It could be losing a job, a loved one, getting sick or depressed, or a number of other things. When you have a tight knit community around you, there are people to support you emotionally, financially, or in whatever way you need. And if it’s not you who needs help right now, it could be someone else in the church community who needs your help, encouragement, or expertise. But if you’re not there, the whole church loses out.

I’m sure there are many other reasons to go to church, many other passages in Scripture to support going but ultimately, each person has to make their own decision. I can’t force anyone to go to church. But in my own life, I can’t imagine trying to follow Jesus without the help, support, encouragement and guidance of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I really do feel like they are my family. They know me better than some of my relatives in my blood family. But feeling a part of the family means investing in relationships, it means going to church consistently and getting involved in groups outside of Sunday. It takes a lot of time and effort, but it is worth it in the end.

So if you’re still looking for that community, keep looking. If you have a church, keep going. And if you have friends that don’t come, keep inviting. Don’t give up.


A Church Family

Schoolhouse, School, Education, Building, Learn

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I’ve been thinking recently about my church and I wanted to share some thoughts.

Here’s a starter question. On a Sunday morning, would you rather go to some event or entertainment venue for half price, or go to church?

Recently I had a friend suggest that I should go to an entertainment venue on Sunday morning because it was half price. I didn’t say yes or no at the time, I just listened to the suggestion.

As I see it, you could have three different responses to this question. 1. You could say, “Yeah I’d like the half price coupon.” 2. You could say “Well I should probably go to church, but that sounds fun.” 3. Or you could say, “Miss Church? No way! I wouldn’t miss this for anything!”

Now I don’t know where you would fall on the scale, but I lean towards the third option. I hardly ever miss church, and not just because I feel like I’m supposed to go there and will feel guilty if I don’t. I go, because I want to. I get to see my good friends, be encouraged and prayed for, and hear about the great things God is doing in our congregation. It is a sweet time, with my family. And I really would call the members of my church my family.

Fun, Happy, People, Happiness, Joy, Happy People

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When I step into the school building where we meet, it feels like coming home, I get hugs, smiles, and “How are you’s?” and it lifts my spirits. If I had a bad week, I can tell someone about it, if I had a great one, I can share that too.

I read a blog post recently about a church’s first impression. The post mentioned if the technical equipment works, if everyone knows the songs, or if the preaching was thought out and well prepared.

I get all that, and it is important. But more so, I think what really matters in a church, and really makes the best first impression, is when someone actually says hello to you, shakes your hand, maybe gives you a hug and asks how you are. That’s what family does.

Now maybe your church doesn’t feel much like family, maybe you want to slip in and slip back out without getting noticed or talking to anyone. But that is not what Jesus intended for His church. The church is His body, and it needs to be connected in order to function.

So I would encourage you, if you attend church, to start treating the people there more like family. Say “hi,” ask how you can be praying for the person sitting next to you, and maybe even take someone out to eat after church and get to know them better.

Well that’s my thoughts for the day. Let me know what you think.

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