Over my 40 years as a local pastor I’ve seen the ever-increasing trend of people choosing to not attend a church service. I have had some folks give me a few possible reasons for it like boredom, …
Over my 40 years as a local pastor I’ve seen the ever-increasing trend of people choosing to not attend a church service. I have had some folks give me a few possible reasons for it like boredom, inconvenience, irrelevance and the like, but was church ever intended to be a place of entertainment in the first place? As I have investigated the topic of “church” many times in my studies. I am captivated by the simple initial value of attending a church gathering. It’s found in that very phrase, “church gathering”. The Bible refers to it as an assembly like putting all the puzzle pieces face up on the dining room table then purposing to fit them together to create a beautiful image. Church is first of all about gathering with God himself as the single focus. That’s why we sing about and to God, we listen to Bible accounts of God, we get instructions from God’s words and ultimately we seek God’s participation in our daily lives. Entertainment is not even a part of that aspect of church gathering. We are meeting to acknowledge the one who created us and who loves us, and our purpose is simply to glorify God. It’s more like a gathering of a father and His appreciative children.
Then there is the “church gathering” made up of neighbors, coworkers, friends and even strangers. This is called a community, which has high value for many of us. This multifaceted church has been commanded by God to gather. We do so in part for the purpose of connection to other human beings who are also seeking to meet with God. We are to rub shoulders, share experiences, encourage one another and hold each other accountable when we gather. We are to seek for ways that we might give into other people’s lives.
Hebrews 10:2425 (NIV) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
So the next time someone asks why you go to church in this more progressive era simply tell them what God has said about it.
Written by Pastor Paris Pasch of The Journey Church in Hastings