Sunday, May 15, 2011
Why Do We Go to Church?
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
"What then, brothers (and sisters)? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up" (1 Corinthians 14:26).
This morning my son asked me, "Why do we go to church?"
We study the Bible together at home; we pray at home; and we sing at home. My son also knows that the vast majority of my personal "ministry" takes place in my everyday life---at home with my family and on my job as a mail carrier. He knows that my coworkers and customers often come to me with questions about the Christian faith and with prayer requests. In fact, only a small part of our lives is spent at the church building or engaged in official church-related projects. He wonders why we meet with the church at all, since it takes up such a small percentage of our time during the week.
I told him that we meet as a church primarily for encouragement. We need encouragement to keep following Christ, and our fellow Christians need encouragement from us to keep following Christ. It's true that most of our lives are not spent in church meetings, but those meetings serve a good purpose. It can be discouraging to think that we are alone in our spiritual lives; but being in the physical presence of other committed followers of Jesus as we worship, serve, and share our lives together can give us a shot of courage that could be essential in keeping us going and being productive.
I'm sure that there are many other good reasons to go to church, but that's the answer that immediately came to my mind.