Why Go to Church?
Some people don't like going to church.
“I can pray or worship God anywhere,” they would argue. In fact, some of them just turn on the TV set in their bedrooms, sing hymns, and pray with the people in the show, which is “exactly the same as being in church.”
There are many verses in the Bible that remind God's people to get together and build relationships. One is found in Hebrews 10:25 (NLT), “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
But the most surprising reason for going to church for me came not from the Bible but in a testimony of one of the members of our youth group in church.
In a halting voice, Olim said in words that I now paraphrase:
“I praise and thank the Lord for bringing me to this church. Here I have ten or more fathers, to whom I can run for advice or attention. Here I have dozens of mothers and siblings who soothe and listen to how I feel. Here I am prayed over for my ups and downs, especially during crunch time—exams, illness, etc. Here I have celebrated my milestones—birthdays and graduations. Here I have spent all my New Years, Easters, and Christmases.
“In this church, I find solace, a haven, and lasting friendships. Here I know I have a family who will always be there to pray for me, support me when I am down and to cheer me on when I am doing well.
“In this church, God found me and I found Him—and He and I will forever be together till the end of time.”
Little did I know that I have been one of Olim's role models, one whom he looks up to as a mother. What an awesome responsibility and an extraordinary privilege!
If that is how a young man, who grew up in the fellowship of one place of worship, sees the role of a church, we who are two or three times his age must listen.
When we decide not to go to church or be a member of a home church, we deprive ourselves of a spiritual family—the grace of treasured relationships and exhilarating opportunities to be a good influence in the lives of others, especially young ones like Olim.
And worse, if we decide to stay home to worship alone or do other things instead of worshiping, we deprive our children of the priceless experiences and life lessons that were eloquently verbalized by Olim.
Why go to church?
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” Colossians 3:16 (NLT)
The church where Olim goes to: