What’s the Big Deal about Going to Church?
“Mom, do I hafta go to church today?”
This question is probably asked by hundreds of thousands of sleepy-eyed kids every Sunday morning. It might be cold and rainy or warm and sunny outside, but the last thing they want to do is get up and go to church. After all, don’t they have better things to do? Watching cartoons, playing xbox, or staying in a nice warm bed sounds better than going to church. But Mom thinks differently, and the disappointing answer rings from the kitchen, “Yes! Get up and get dressed.”
The reason kids sometimes go to church can be simple – because mom and dad expect it – but what about adults? Why should adults go to church? Our lives are more complex than when we were kids, so shouldn’t the answer to this question be complex as well? Surprisingly, no. The answer is just as similar as to when we were kids. We should go to church because our Father in Heaven expects it.
When Jesus walked on this earth, He preached about the coming Kingdom of God and called people to follow Him. For those who accepted who He was, were baptized, and followed Him, He formed His church.
Just as with the creation of the world, when God forms something He has a reason. The same is true with the formation of His church. What He wanted was an organization that would worship and serve Him, and this is what church should be about. In other words, God receives glory through His church. (Ephesians 3:21)
However, the process of God receiving glory depends on a couple of things. First, the truth of the Bible needs to be taught. When Jesus was talking to the Samaritan women, He told her, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) God’s revealed truth is the only way we can know Him, so it makes sense that we can’t really glorify Him unless the truth is present.
Second, God receiving glory depends on how people relate to the truth God reveals. As people listen and learn the Bible, they then can worship God. They can see His greatness, understand His workings, and feel His love. Responding back to Him by opening up our heart to what He does is worship. But before this can happen, people need to attend. Like having a birthday party with no one showing up, having a worship service is meaningless unless people are there to worship.
Church isn’t about going to a building and being religious. It is about building a spiritual building where one of the greatest things on earth happens – the worship of our Creator because of what He’s done for us.
So, when the alarm goes off this Sunday and you think of all the things to do during the day, think about God first. No one is there to tell you to go, but that doesn’t mean Someone doesn’t want you to go.
- "Rockstar Church" - a church whose focus is primarily on entertaining the crowds.
- "Wal-mart Church" - a church whose focus is primarily on the bottom line, viewing people as customers.
- "Stonecold Church" - a church whose focus is primarily on traditions and rules.
- Something else?