Going to Church…What’s the Point?
“The church is designed to nourish the imperfect the struggling and the exhausted.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf
10 second summary: If attending church is part of your normal every-Sunday routine then pray a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing for your church leaders, teachers, helpers, and volunteers and ask God how you can bless others when you go (and make sure you go). If you don’t go to church every Sunday, or weren’t planning to, think again. Read the tips below, and then spend the rest of today’s 10 minutes finding a church to attend. Going to church this Sunday could be the best thing you do all week.
What’s the point of going to church?
Tomorrow’s Sunday—are you planning to go to church? Even those of us who try to attend church regularly can be tempted to skip a week when we’re tired, overly-busy, and overwhelmed. What’s the point of going to church every week anyway?
The quote above says it well—church should be a safe place for us to go, to nourish and restore us. Something we look forward to and appreciate. But if you’re human like me, sometimes you just don’t feel that way. It’s similar to how I felt when my grandmother would say “eat your dinner, there are kids starving in other countries.” I was glad I had food, but still didn’t feel like eating what was on my plate.
Similarly, I know I should be grateful for our religious freedom and the relative ease and simplicity of church attendance. (Running late and struggling to get my sometimes-cranky toddler dressed is nothing compared to death threats people in other countries receive for attending worship services, right?!) But sometimes I take church attendance for granted, and am not as grateful for it as I should be. Like voting, it’s something that seems mundane, a chore, another should-do item in my busy schedule—when in reality, many people suffered and died to give me the freedom to vote. Jesus suffered and died to give us the freedom to be part of God’s family. Many Christians, especially those in the early days, suffered and died to establish and build Christ’s church and group of believers. To give us the privilege we have today of regular church attendance.
Encouragement and maintaining balance
Whether we feel like it or not, attending church regularly is an important part of maintaining true life balance, and being spiritually healthy. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “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.” We all need encouragement from others and we’re all responsible to be an encourager TO others, and that’s a big part of what going to church is all about. It’s a responsibility and a privilege.
Back in the day when more people wrote to and responded to letters in newspapers, the following interesting debate occurred:
“Why go to church? A church-goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”
“This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: “I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”” QuotesGram
Interesting perspective! There’s ongoing power, encouragement, strength, and healing in spending time with other believers. Ever had a “girl’s night out” (or in) and felt better for it? Attending church blesses us in a similar way. The more exhausted and worn out we are, the more we need it, and can’t afford to miss it. In Matthew 18:20 Jesus says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Are we having fun yet?
Which brings me to a side-note I think it’s important to mention… Attending church can and should be FUN!! It’s not like we’re scrubbing toilets here, we’re celebrating God’s love, being part of God’s family, worshiping him, making friends, learning tips to improve our lives, learning to walk in God’s ways, praying with others, experiencing the joy of giving, hearing God’s word… I can go on! Church attendance is awesome, please don’t miss out! (If attending your church isn’t like this, pray about trying out one that is. Awesome churches are out there everywhere, like hidden gems, just waiting for you to stop in and become part of the family.)
Last but not least, one of my favorite verses in the bible, Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Attending church regularly also provides safety. We need other Christians around us to help us through life’s struggles, pray with us, worship God together, and help us be grateful to be part of His family. If we never talk to or visit with our biological families, chances are we don’t and won’t have a positive, strong relationship with them. We’ll miss out on any support or love or help they may provide. And if we don’t regularly spend time with our sisters and brothers in God’s family, we’ll miss out on the family experiences, strengths, laughs, tears, help, relationships, and spiritual and emotional safety that our Christian family provides.
Just as there are no perfect people or families, there are no perfect churches. There will always be thousands of excuses not to go, timing will never be great, and you may never “feel” like going. Maybe you’ve had a bad experience with a church once, or know others who have. Don’t give up—you’re an important part of God’s family, and He wants you “plugged in” somewhere that you can be encouraged, challenged, learn about Him, and know how much he and others truly love you.
My prayer for you is that you’ll have the courage, determination, and dedication to go to church tomorrow. Don’t let anything stop you—it may just be your best decision of the week.