If you made it to church last Sunday, I want to congratulate you. For some reason, making it to church can be one of the harder tasks to put a tick for regular church goers. Here are some basic issues.
Why do people go to church?
There is a great variety of reasons why people go to church. Some attend as a religious obligation; others see it as a time to hang out with people of a similar age and with similar beliefs.
For many I suppose the greater highlights revolve around a sense of community and comfort. Some of the other popular reasons include cultural background, parents attending, or simply that they enjoy the worship time.
The reality is that church has something to offer otherwise no one would attend. Whatever reason it is that you attend, Theology 101 is that God wishes to work through that reason and bring you closer to him.
Why don't people go to church?
As for those who are non-Christians, it is understandable that they may have never even been to church. Attending a church can be a daunting place even if you are not a Christian. There may be fears of the unknown, the Holy Spirit may be unknown to them and not understand His leading. They may even be put-off due to movie negative stigmas of sermons they have seen.
As Christians, some of the reasons can be a little less convincing with some of the more common ones being that you're too tired, or have a busy lifestyle, or that the sermon's too long, or simply a lack of understanding of what's on offer.
As for the most part, these barriers are faced by everyone, so we must be careful that we don't let them become easy excuses. In Hebrews chapter 10 verse 25, it says "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage on another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
Why should we go to church?
The real question is what is church and why should we attend?
Church is the gathering of believers. And what do they do? In 1 Corinthians chapter 14 verse 26 it says "What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church."
Church is more than just another ordinary social event; it is one that aims to build everyone up in the Spirit of the Lord. We gain encouragement, peace, a time of worship of God, and a place where ordinary miracles may be manifest (relationships are healed). It is a place where wisdom and knowledge is spread and a place where you can share the joys of living with Jesus as your saviour.
Congratulations to all those that made it to church on Sunday. And to those that didn't, maybe it's time to once more take that step out in faith and again see what God has to offer this Sunday.
Tim Robertson is from Sydney, an engineering student and likes to write about recent insights in the hope that other people may also benefit from them.
Tim Robertson's previous articles may be found at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-robertson.html