I meet people quite a bit of people who say, “I’m a Christian, I just don’t go to church.” Now, I don’t think you need to go to church to be a Christian, but I do believe that if you are a Christian you should go to church. Even if you’re not a Christian you should go to church. Here’s 5 reasons why:
1) Worship through singing
You’re reminded that you’re not the center of the world. No one likes self-centered people, but we’re all very self-centered. During a 24 hour period, out of the 7 billion people on the planet, who do you think about most? If you’re like me, chances are it’s YOU. You think about you – what you want to eat, do, watch, work on, listen to. We all filter everything through the screen of, “How will that effect me,” and that’s not a bad thing – it’s just a true thing. But with everyone thinking life is about them, well that doesn’t create the best possible kind of world. With all this thinking of self, I start to live like the world revolves around me and if the world revolves around me, then it can’t revolve around you, but you think it revolves around you, so what happens when our worlds collide? When you go to church, you stand in a room with other people and sing songs to a God who sits on the throne of all the universe. It’s in church, through a time of collective worship through singing, that we join in with other people to draw our attention and focus on the one whom the universe actually does revolve around. When your service starts at 10am, the worship service didn’t just begin, but rather you just joined in with a worship service that has been going on for ages as the angels have been singing and worshiping the God of the universe. So you should go to church to be reminded that you don’t sit on the throne – God does – because none of us want to be so egotistical as to think that life is all about us – it’s about someone greater and we get to join in with him and his mission.
You have a chance to receive a word from God that has the ability to change your life forever. Who doesn’t want to have a better marriage, more hope, financial peace, a better sex life, a strong identity and self worth? Who doesn’t want to discover that they are loved beyond comprehension? This happens during the sermon, where someone breaks open the Word of God and delivers it to you. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I wasn’t planning on coming to church today, but I’m so glad I did because I needed to hear that.” If you don’t go to church, you may miss out on the thing God wants to say to you that could dramatically change your life for the good. So you should go to church because it’s a chance for you to become more than you already are.
We all like generous people and we most likely want to be one of those people. In church, when they take up the offering, it’s a time to rejoice because we get the opportunity to exercise our generosity. When we tithe, bring 10% of our income back to God, we make a statement that money doesn’t control our lives because we are able to bring it back to God. And this is what we do – bring back 10% to God, or if you prefer, we get to keep 90% of what God has given us, bringing him 10% of what was his already. It’s in this time of the worship experience that we break the chains of greed and coveting. It changes our outlook on money, the world and other people because something has to change in our hearts for us to live open handed lives. So you should go to church because it helps you become more generous.
At The Rising we take communion every week. It’s this practice where we break bread and drink juice to remind us of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus and how his sacrifice on the cross forgives and redeems us from our sin and guilt and wrongdoing. It’s in this practice that we are reminded of the forgiveness God has given us, and who doesn’t want to know they are forgiven and loved? It’s in this practice of taking bread and juice with other people that collectively we are reminded we are all in this together, and that God wants to use us as a community to redeem this world in the same way he’s redeemed us. So you should go to church to be reminded you’re loved and forgiven.
We get a chance to live beyond ourselves. We all have gifts abilities and talents that have been given to us to make a difference in this world and in the lives of other people. Being part of a church is one of the easiest ways for us to use these gifts and serve other people. We don’t have to be experts or professionals to use our gifts to serve someone and when you’re part of a church there are more opportunities open for you to make a difference in someone’s life and we all want to do something that matters, not just here and now but for eternity. When someone submits their life to God and you serve through your church, you have a part in their decision, whether directly or indirectly, you played a part. So you should go to church to live beyond yourself.
I get it. There are several ways to experience all of this and not be part of a church. You can sing worship songs on your own. You can listen to podcasts. You can give online. You can take communion at home. You can serve through nonprofit organizations or on your own, but the worship experience is unique, because you get to experience all of these in one environment with a collective group of people who are moving in the same direction, and the main thing you miss out on by not being part of a church is being part of a local movement and revolution taking place in your community to see this world become more like heaven. I don’t want to miss out on that and I hope you don’t either.
Join us this Sunday, June 8th at 10am at The NorVa for our second Sneak Peek Experience as we get closer to our Grand Opening on September 14.