Everybody’s working for the weekend.
Can you relate?
We exhaust ourselves all week with work, school, errands, and chores just to make it to the glorious weekend when we can do whatever WE WANT.
Rest or play.
Socialize or retreat.
Truth time… how many of us look forward to the weekend so that we can attend church?
In a way, going to church is like brushing your teeth. Sometimes you don't feel like it, or you rationalize that skipping that hygiene habit a few times won’t hurt, but at the end of the day brushing your teeth is essential to having a healthy smile.
Same with the church- attending church is essential for a healthy life.
Let’s consider what the church has to offer that you just can’t find wrapped up anywhere else:
The church is a place:
To experience God; to worship and respond to Him.
Safe to connect and to discover a sense of belonging, to know and be known and be apart of something bigger than yourself.
To get answers to life’s most challenging questions.
Where lives change for the better.
Where marriages are salvaged.
Filled with love, grace, peace, and healing.
To serve the least and the lost.
To find purpose, hope, and a future.
Where love and prayers are exchanged.
To raise and teach children solid, time-tested values.
Where community is found- where we can hurt together, pray together, worship together, serve together and do life together.
A place to meet Jesus.
During an interview, Bill Hybels summarized the importance of church:
“There’s nothing like the local church when the local church is working right. When the Holy Spirit is in charge, and when God’s anointing power is on a church, lost people are getting found, and found people are growing up, and lonely people are getting enfolded, and bored people are finding a purpose and a cause, and the poor are being cared for. To me, when that’s all happening, prompted and empowered by the Spirit as opposed to fueled by human power, that is the most beautiful activity I’ve ever witnessed.”
Did you know that the Bible also stresses the importance of church?
In Hebrews 10: 24-25, we find the instruction to meet together (a/k/a church)- "and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Christ himself identified with the church. When Saul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, Jesus didn’t ask him “Why do you persecute my church?;” rather, He asked- “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:4
Through this encounter, we see that Jesus viewed an attack on His people (the church) as a personal attack on Him!
Could the same be said for the avoidance of church?
Could Jesus be asking you- "Why are you avoiding me?"
Church offers so much, but not all churches are created equally; if you've been burned or bored before, I encourage you to continue seeking.
Don’t give up and don’t miss out. That extra sleep you might get on Sunday morning may just be keeping you from God’s best.
So, brush your teeth and find a church that will give you a reason to have a great smile!
Father, thank you for the creation of the church; for lovingly providing us a place to experience you and have authentic relationships with others. A place to discover and obtain hope, purpose, healing, comfort and community. A home that affords us the opportunity to be a part of your mission to impact the world. Help us to recognize the value of church and to not dismiss its importance --for you are the church.
"And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent." Colossians 1:18