Today: Sunday, August 18, 2019
 
 

Six Big Questions - # 6 - Do I have to go to church?    (5/15/2016 )

In the spring of this year, a resident of the Scottish village of Dull was enjoying a touring holiday in the USA when she found herself approaching the Oregon town of Boring. She couldn’t resist making contact with the local authorities, imagining the opportunity of have a road sign outside her village back home ‘Welcome to Dull—twinned with Boring’. 

For many, ‘Dull—twinned with Boring’ could be a description of their experience of going to a church on a Sunday morning, and they might be thinking, ‘”If I become a Christian, do I have to go to church?”

Many people (especially in Western culture in the 21st century) view everything from the point of view of a consumer. ‘What does it do for me?’ And from this perspective, there is no way a local church service is going to be as entertaining, slick or professional as what we see on TV, for example. So why do Christians go to church?  Here are some reasons:

Worship
In St John’s vision of heaven, he saw angels singing ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise’. The main purpose of coming together is to express to God our sense of his worth – to give him our worth-ship, because, to misquote ‘He’s worth it’. Our worship is one of the few things we can give back to God for giving us his son.

Fellowship
This includes the concept of sharing together, for example in Holy Communion, serving one another, praying for one another, encouraging and helping one another.

Growing
Having started following Jesus, we want to grow as Christians. Learning from those who are gifted in preaching and teaching, and from our fellow Christians at church, is one of the main ways in which we can do this. Of course, this doesn’t replace reading the Bible for ourselves at home!

Being encouraged and challenged
I‘m sure I’m not the only one who has wondered about rolling over when the alarm clock goes off on Sunday morning, only to find when I got to church that God had an encouragement or challenge for me during a song, or the sermon, which precisely met my circumstances at that time. I could so easily have missed a blessing that God had for me.

Serving
We have an opportunity  not to be consumers, but to give of our time and our talents to server others, even if it’s just to lend our voices to the singing of God’s praise. And if we’re not there,  we’re missed by the others. God misses us.

Dull and boring? No! Going to church is a privilege, and can be a delight if we approach it from the right  perspective. It’s  an opportunity for  an encounter with God and with others that will take us further in the journey towards God’s destiny for us - being made like His Son.


This is one of Six Big Questions
Read more about ‘What does it mean to be a Christian?’ in Six Big Questions, a 24-page A5 booklet which encourages you to ask hard questions about the Christian faith—and which offers some answers. You can download it instantly, or get it by post, for just £3.95.





Pray: Lord Jesus, you made the ultimate sacrifice and died on the cross for me. Help me to make this small sacrifice of my time for you each week. It really is the least I can do for you. Amen.

Think about: Some people find some churches boring, so it might be a question of looking around and trying different churches until you find one that feels right. If you still think church is boring, are there any adjustments you should make in yourself, to get more out of the experience?

Challenge: Go to church this Sunday?

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