Jul 5, 2013

Why Go To Church?

Recently, I tried to find a drain plug for our galvanized steel tank from which our cows drink. While talking to a clerk, he asked what I did. I replied that I was a preacher. His reply startled me: “You need to preach about stealing because it is this store’s number one problem.” I thought to myself, “It is interesting what people think the church is for.” It is hard to imagine getting up and telling our congregation: “Don’t steal.” Yet, the question is plainly on the mind of many today—Why go to church?

One reason believers attend church and worship is because that is what Jesus and his ancestors did. Hebrews 10:23-25 reminds us: “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope . . . and let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together.” When we gather together we are both obedient to our confession of faith and also profit from learning faith in singing hymns and in scripture study.

In addition, our faith teaches us counter-cultural survival skills we need—in praying, tithing, and fasting. Many Americans cannot help us with this spiritual course of study, as they have no idea what praying, tithing, or fasting means in a disciplined life.

Why go to church? We go to church because in a world of bad news, we need to hear good news. We need to notice God’s love. We need to become part of a larger story than ourselves. And last—we are more likely to find people we can count on at church than anywhere else. Routinely, people who attend worship and go to Sunday school are people who want healthier spiritual and physical lives by connecting with God and others. After all, if worship was good enough for Jesus, then it ought to be good enough for us.



Pam Whitman said...

Unfortunately, I am (hopefully, WAS!) one of those who do not attend Church regularly. It is not because I don't get anything out of it, because every Sunday that I did attend, I left with so much more than what I had when I entered! And I felt so good and pure for the whole day, maybe even days afterwards!

It started out with health challenges that prevented me from attending, then I just plain got in a "comfortable" rut of not having to get up so early on a Sunday morning and rush around to get ready, etc. (Yeah, ok, it is fair that you think of me as lazy!) That "comfort" cost me the gift of hearing God's word every Sunday, monthly Communion, and wonderful fellowship. It also caused me to feel as though I was "on the outside, looking in". I did not feel as though I belonged. I did not feel worthy of the blessings that God wanted to give me. It was hard for me to believe that the Lord was still working through me.

It also did not prepare me with the proper "armor" and the "kid gloves" I needed in order to handle certain family situations very well. I feel as though I lost the battle of my life because 2 siblings (one was my very best friend) and my adult daughter now want nothing to do with me (need I say they are NOT Christians, or true ones, anyway?).

Now I know I need the Church more than ever and I do know that Jesus has not abandoned me. He is all I need to pick up the pieces of my shattered life. He will help me put the pieces back together but I know it will be in God's good time; I just have to stay “plugged in” and “open” to receive His blessings.

One of the most unfortunate things in this little testimonial is that we have moved from TX to AZ a little over a week ago and I will never be able to hear one of Dr. Mosser’s sermons again! (In person, anyway.)

Last week we began the process of finding our new church home. My husband felt pretty comfortable in the Church we attended and I was “OK” with it. The sermon was good. But it just wasn’t The First Methodist Church of Arlington and it just wasn’t Rev. Mosser! I know every Minister has his/her own unique style but I want to feel “at home”, just as we both immediately felt the first time we attended a service at FUMC/Arlington. So, we’ll keep searching until we both have that feeling. In the meantime, we will at least be receiving the Word and serving the Lord.

Thank you, Dr. Mosser, and everyone else responsible for making us feel at home in your parish. May God continue to bless you all with good health and wealth so that you may serve Him in the manner in which He would want you to.

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