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Why Go To Church?
Photo: Damian Searles
One of the things I’m very grateful for is that I have been in church every week since I was brought home from the hospital at birth. What a blessing! I joined my family as the youngest of four children, and I also joined a church family where I arrived as the youngest of many children! And they came in all ages, sizes, and personalities. What a blessing! Did I already say that?

Growing up, I bonded deeply with the people of my home church. I guess that’s why it seemed a foreign idea to me to actually skip church. That would be like skipping a meal, and I certainly don’t like to do that!  So it always kind of surprises me when people opt to stay home from church for this or that reason. When asked why they want to stay home, they usually answer, “Oh, I don’t really get that much out of it.” Or  “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. I can read my Bible at home.”

Something Life-changing

That’s true. You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. And it’s also true that you can, indeed, read the Bible at home. So there’s no argument, really. But I was impressed with what my niece Heidi said one time regarding this question. Being in an academic environment where many students felt they would benefit more from a “Sabbath rest” asleep in bed than they would awake in church, she was asked why she always goes to church. She answered simply, “Because I might hear something that will change my life.”

Do you think that could happen? I know it can because it’s has happened to me. Many times. Just when least expected, the most unlikely speaker, teacher, child or song will touch me with some truth that I would not have gathered on my own at home. Something that will transform my spiritual self to a new place. Something that will fuel me for the next week and all the unknowns that it brings with it. So why chance it? Why risk missing something life-changing by staying home when we could be blessed by being in God’s house? 

Someday the church bells will be ringing in heaven announcing worship and calling the saints to gather around the very throne of God. Will we sleep in then? Will we stay behind to have our own service? Not me. I plan to be in a front row seat, soaking up as much of God’s presence as I can. For now, though, you can find me on a front pew of my local church. Maybe I’ll see you there. You never know, we may discover something life-changing together.

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another..." (Hebrews 10:25).

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