Showing Up To Church – Why Bother?
I’ve spent a bit of time over the last couple of weeks allowing God to speak to me about gathering together as God’s people. I have had quite a few conversations with people, recently and over the last few years, who are pretty apathetic as far as ‘going to church’ is concerned.
Various well-meaning authors and writers have added fuel to this fire, hoping to encourage Christians to think about being and doing church in new ways – but it seems like quite a few of us have managed to move from re-thinking church into just doing our own thing, by ourselves, and sadly often ending up just drifting away from other Christians, from authentic Christian community, and ultimately from God…
Add to this the growing amount of ‘good’ and ‘important’ things which take up our time week in week out, and plenty of really good podcasts and other resources available online and in Christian bookstores, and we can easily end up ditching ‘going to church’, getting together regularly with God’s people and being committed to investing in relationship with one another. (By the way, I realise that it is arguably incorrect to talk about ‘going’ to church – but for this conversation, it makes the point clearly )
Well, I want to stand up and be counted and plead strongly in favour of getting together regularly with other Christians, and being the church, being God’s called, chosen, gathered and sent people. Just turning up occasionally to church gatherings, when we’ve nothing better to do, or we feel bad because we haven’t been for ages, seems to fall so far short of what church can be, and should be, and what Jesus had in mind when he called the first disciples to follow him, and trained them up as missionary leaders and planters of new communities of Jesus-followers.
I’ve been around churches of one kind or another pretty much my whole life. I reckon I could give anyone a run for their money in coming up with reasons to NOT go to church. But instead, I want to take some time over the next few weeks to bounce around some really good reasons FOR going to church, FOR committing to a local body of Christians, FOR making showing up at church gatherings a priority in our week, and FOR sticking with being a committed part of a local church over the long haul… Some reasons will be theological. Some will be practical. Some will be personal.
Why do you ‘go’ to church? What is the challenge for you at the moment in committing to showing up and being part of a local body of Christians?