Why Go to Church?

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than sitting in garage makes you a car.” “I can worship God anywhere — church doesn’t have the corner on that market.” “There are too many hypocrites in church for me to want to go there.” “Sunday is the only day I get to really rest, and isn’t that what Sunday is supposed to be, a day of rest?”

I could go on. I’ve been in church work enough years that I have heard all the excuses. And, yet, I still believe firmly that going to church isn’t just a good thing, it is necessary.

Are churches perfect? No. Are there hypocrites, awful people, bad churches? Yes. There are bad restaurants, too, but we haven’t sworn off eating because of them!

It is through churches that my life has been changed. Men and women who love God and are committed to him have invested in me through so many different ministries, from the time I was a baby in the nursery until today, sitting in a Bible Fellowship class.

I grew up in a little church in Winter Haven, FL. It was filled with amazing people, a pastor who taught God’s word and lived it out, children and youth workers who truly loved me.  As an adult, I have been to many different churches, different denominations, different sizes, in different cities, states and countries. In every one, God has taught me more about Him, He has put people in place that challenged me and helped me, encouraged me.

But that is only PART of what church is for — yes, we go to grow and learn and be part of a community. But when we stop at that, we miss out on the best part: service.

There are LOTS of different places to serve in the church. For me, my favorites are discipleship and worship arts. I have taught Bible studies, Sunday school, small groups, large groups, seminars, devotions…you name it. I love seeing people get excited about learning more about who they are in Christ, helping ignite a passion for God and His word.  And I love using my gifts in choirs, praise teams, and drama teams. I have had more fun working with others in those areas, serving the church in those ways. It is fulfilling and fabulous.

Most people I encounter who hate church or make excuses for not attending are people who aren’t serving. They are so focused on what they aren’t getting that they miss out on what they should be giving. And every believer has something to give — you can love on babies, bring meals to people who are sick, help organize showers, make dolls for children in the hospital, serve meals to the homeless, fold church bulletins, run the games for VBS…

Even if you’re young — you can still serve. Our family works in the preschool at our church. Our kids fight over who gets to read the lesson, hand out the crafts. They love on these three and four year olds, play with them, and model Christ for them. Just last month, our daughters went with their youth group to sing for and bring food for the homeless at a local shelter, then they had a Christmas party for the Special Needs’ ministry at our church, bringing gifts, playing games, and jut talking with some of those amazing men and women. They came back from that saying it was the most fun they’ve had at a youth event.

So no more excuses. Add “Go to Church” to your list of New Year’s Resolutions. And if you already go, add “Serve” to that list. And if you’re doing that, too, tell us about it. What’s your favorite ministry memory?

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