Like many of you, I find myself caught up in observing people, pastors, worship experiences, and churches. Every week I am intrigued by attending church and think a lot about the pastor. Did he had a good week? Was it pressure filled? Was it full of disappointments? Were there staffing issues? Personality conflicts?Pressure at home? Did he have time for study? What is his spiritual life like? Did he get beat up by the elder board or some lay leader? I am also amazed at how the worship center seems to fill up when a good one-third of the worship service is in progress.
As I sit there, I begin to pray and think about how much I appreciate the church, His bride. Pastors, if you have had a rough week or a good week, I want you to know that God uses you not only during the week but on Sundays, too. It’s more than worth it. Here are some reasons I go to church.
It provides a spiritual bearing to my family. Attending church as a family helps us mature in Christ. It reminds us that we are living for Jesus. It not only instills good morals but teaches us to realize who God is and who we are not.
It expands my capacity to love others. Sermons convict and help my soul to realize that I am here for those who are not here yet. It helps me to establish my boundaries and realize that I am here to serve others, beginning with my family and then outward.
In attending church, I am reminded that I am not in this alone. We have been attending our church for over two years now and I am realizing that it also brings stability to our family. My son John and I attended a special leadership event that our church brokered with the Global Leadership Summit. It was there that I realized we have real friends in our church- the kind of friends that you can reach out to if you have a need. These are the people that will pray with you, lift you up and encourage you. I introduced my son to most of our pastors yesterday. I was proud to do so. With all the scandal and moral failure of pastors out there, it was great to present my son to a group of people who are doing it right.
My church has helped me to meet new friends. My wife and I belong to a great Life Group. Most of our group attended the Leadership Summit. It was fun to sit together and eat lunch together during that event. We are fairly new our group but already I like the feel of it. I know that in the days ahead these will be people that we will learn to love and grow with each other.
My church has broadened my horizon and understanding when it comes to diversity. My church works very intently on being God’s people to all people. Our church is truly reaching out to all groups of people, no matter that their ethnicity.
If you come to my church, you will see on the platform Anglo, Asian, Afro-American, and Hispanic leaders either preaching or leading us in worship. Our church is intentionally hiring staff that reflects our community’s culture. Even more importantly, it has expanded my own personal exposure to this diversity as well. It has helped me so much to understand what God is doing in the world.
Church is a great place for young adults to learn how to live in today’s world. Through their messages, our pastoral staff help shape young lives spiritually and morally. I see young married couples who struggle and wonder what is missing in their marriages. Church, when done right, can be a great answer to those questions. It provides knowledge, support, accountability and it brings hope.
Church is a place that when people hurt, the community comes together. Illness, even death, is something everyone faces but it is a whole lot easier to deal with it when you are surrounded by your friends from church.
In the past, I have preached about transformation. You know - watching people move from “having to” to “wanting to.” My church is a place where I “want” to go, not “have” to go. It’s a place where I “want” to give, and not “have” to give. It’s a place where I will “gladly” serve, not “reluctantly” serve.
Finally, I attend church because I see God’s grace at work. The church is full of broken people (I know because I am one). It is full of imperfect people from the lead pastor on down. It is by God’s saving grace that we can pull together and live together with the hope of Jesus’ work given to us.
This is why I go to church.