Sunday morning we go to church

I’m sitting here in my office on Sunday morning. Every Sunday (give or take a few) for the past 5 1/2 years I’ve arrived at our building and prepared for our Sunday morning services. I am the worship leader and kind of emcee the service (if you will). Some (perhaps many) think all I do all week is pick out music and play my guitar. 🙂

As a minister trying to figure out how to awaken people to God in their lives and to live fully devoted to Him, receiving the abundant life He’s promised us, I wonder sometimes… why do people come to church. During our times of singing to God together on Sunday’s I look out at the people and sometimes wish more people would give me a sign they are actually engaging God. I look out and so many people seem like they wish they were somewhere else. As church leaders we have to be careful how our hearts respond because, after all, it’s our job to encourage and equip (and love) these people. Though I have to be honest that sometimes I think “Why are you even here?”

So I pose that question here. Why do you even go to church. It seems like according to some of the things God says in the Bible, that if you don’t really care much about God throughout the week, you might as well be honest about it and skip church. I wouldn’t want to throw a party and have half the people there frowning because they felt obligated to come to my lame party. Do people go to church because they feel they are supposed to? Or because they have to? Because they want to and they just haven’t figured out how to connect with God yet? Because they are honestly seeking and looking for God? Because they think this is a good place to start in getting their life together? Because they genuinely love God and seek every opportunity to join with His people in worship and growing together in maturity and unity?

On the flip side, if people are at church who really don’t want to be there, hey – at least they’re there. I’m grateful that they at least have the opportunity to hear from God and hopefully see Him in the way we love each other.

Why do you go to church? Perhaps it’s a rhetorical question. Perhaps not.

7 comments

  1. Good blog. The go to church/not go to church and it’s spiritual importance has been something Jason and I have talked about so much. I go because I learn, because hearing others sing to God is inspiring, because I want my boys to have a spiritual community besides just us. One of the most important reasons I go is to hear what other believers … See Moreare doing and how God is moving in their lives…I wish there was more of that at our church…more testimonies about service projects and witnessing…

    Imagine though- what Jesus saw when he was talking- church leadership judging, his own family disbelieving, and his best friends leaving him in his time of need. You, Ben, are following in some amazing footsteps. Remember that when you are looking out on the crowd…

    1. Thanks, Sara. I appreciate the encouragement.

      I know a guy who I really respect as a Christian and former pastor. Right now his family isn’t involved in a local church. They have 4 young children and what they do for “church” is get up and have a family worship/prayer time together. They also engage in ministry together throughout the week (collecting cans from neighbors to get money to send to Haiti) Who’s to say that that they aren’t accomplishing the same thing a “normal” church would? Perhaps this is a topic I could explore further on my site. See ya!

  2. Ben asked me (in response to my above response) if a family of 4 who have Sunday family worship time together and do community projects are filling the same role as the church…I thought about this a lot and also brought the question up to my most trusted group of spiritual friends- my small group. Here are some thoughts to consider that came up during small group:

    1. Why is your friend choosing not to go to “church”? Does he really feel that is best, or is it more of a, there is no church that fits me, problem?
    2. One wise friend at home group stated- this is something we should all be doing with our families, but God created us for a relationship with him, and a relationship with each other…to not have a network of Christians may leave you wanting in relationships.

    Some other things that I thought of..
    1. Kids are not going to want to only go to their parents about spiritual/life issues. To have a network of friends and trusted advisers that your children know well is critical as they grow older.
    2. It is easy to be “off” on something when you keep your circle of influences closed. A genuine fellowship with other believers will challenge your thoughts and refine your beliefs.
    3. I (personally) really respect a pastor that has gone to seminary, that has learned part/all of Greek and Hebrew, and can dedicate his/her life to studying and interpreting the word. I like to learn from a person like this.
    4. Going to a larger church allows you and your family to serve and worship in ways they may not otherwise have- For example, if a child really likes singing, dancing, and acting- they could serve and learn by doing a play or singing in a children’s choir.

    So- here is my conclusion after all that:). I think that you need a network of believers that you meet with on a regular basis outside of just your nuclear family. I do not think that a large organized church is required, that a small group can serve the purpose of a church and can, in many cases, be even closer to the new test. church than a large organized church.

  3. Good blog post Ben. I agree, have been up there preaching and seeing people asleep or looking like its the most boring thing in the world. I may not be a Billy Graham or Andy Stanley, but there is no reason to be bored by the word of God.

    One book I’ve been reading lately is “Orange.” Its about family ministry, but one of the ideas in the book is that God created two “institutions” – the Church and the Family. Each one has a different job to do. If you have one that tries to do the job of the other, then they will fail. But you need both, and you need both working together, to great amazing life change. Thats more on what Sara was saying than your original blog post.

    Back to your blog post, I think the biggest problem is that people do not come to church for the right reason. They have a distorted view of God where they think He NEEDS them to go to Church to fulfill the rules, instead of church being for our benefit. And so people go, they endure, they rush out as soon as they can. It’s sad, but you are right at least they are there and hopefully something can leak through!

  4. Ben,
    i, too, have experienced the same thoughts and feelings while leading worship. I know you can’t see me when we are both up there side by side, but it actually causes me to worship more sometimes when i have trouble with thoughts that i’m inconveniencing some with the music. kinda makes it difficult to “lead” when I cannot connect with others…so i become an isolated worshipper so to speak. I start praying for God to move everyone in the room and trust that even though i can’t see it…it’s happening or will happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!