WHY WE GO TO CHURCH
Why we do need to attend services within
Christian faith communities, during
our search for faith and belief.
Attending services with communities/ fellowships of faith, i.e. churches, certainly increases the
likelihood of recognising
that God actually is a loving ‘being’
and not merely a concept existing within
the writing of others. I have mentioned repeatedly throughout this
website’s articles that the Church is essentially “the
fellowship that nurtures and sustains Christians”. I cannot overstate that fact.
It is most unusual to not receive any benefit
from attending a church service. Normally, there will be an increased
peace within you that will remain for some time. That seems to be the
outcome. But a lot more
can come of
it. Please note that the following sub headings are not laid out in any
particular order. All the reasons presented for attendance are important.
2. ASSISTANCE FROM OTHER CHURCHGOERS
accept that going to church may
bring you into the company of frail ‘sinners’, most of whom are trying to
better Christians. I agree that you may find wowzers and
bigots in the Christian community, just as you would anywhere else. You
may even find people who solely attend church to further their
own personal initiatives and agendas, i.e. not to sustain their
relationship with God at all. They truly annoy all genuine Christians,
and in many cases damage the credibility of the wider Church
by their actions within and outside it. It has always been the case, and it probably will continue to be so.
also find that a very high proportion of people in church have
faith and are very caring (as God requests of them). Honestly, within a
short time these people will become like family to you. They will
assist God by providing him with the means to hasten the growth of your faith and support you in any major life
issues ahead. You should also hear first hand
accounts of God’s presence within human life.
of course, without doubt, all church ‘family members’ should encourage
each other during their individual faith journeys [Hebrews 10:25]
Let us not give up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another –
and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
3. GAINING ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE OF FAITH
church of choice should also lead you
– through sermons (talks) from church leaders during services and guided Bible
– to better understand God and the relationship with him that
awaits you. We
all need to continually build our knowledge of God; what he has done for us already, what offers us now and what he
wants of us. Without this information it is difficult to put ‘faith’ to use in
life. That in turn prevents us from fully recognising his presence there.
Yes, the Church is vital to the growth of essential knowledge required
to build both our faith and belief.
The first article in the website’s final section titled, “Christianity
presents the simple basis
of the religion at least, including the positive features that set it
others, and should demystify it for anybody who has
had little or no
contact with it. However we all need to expand our knowledge of God as
our faith and belief continues to grow. And the Church is the best
place to guide us in that regard.
4. BECOMING A 'MEMBER' OF THE CHURCH
indeed very importantly, we do need to be
baptised; become true members of the ‘body of Christ’ (the Church), as
soon as we can feel
comfortable with that as practising Christians. We must be ready to turn our backs on our ‘old ways’ of life and accept Jesus
as our Lord and Saviour. God certainly wants us to focus on a life that is not just about us ... that cannot provide a contented life anyway.
I fully understand, as an
ex-atheist myself, that personal
comfort with such a position may seem a long
way off at first. But, trust me, when you look into it with an open
mind, the specialness of being a member of the body of Christ will grow
on you as a positive option faster than you would expect!
That in turn underpins our recognition of being members of our own church’s loving family. All members are effectively brothers and sisters in Christ.
And when we
do believe in God, entering into fellowship with our community of faith also gives each of us the opportunity for high quality time with
him, amplified by being in the company of other believers; those ‘brothers and sisters’ of ours.
5. POSITIVE EFFECTS ON OUR PERSONAL LIVES
Although this website’s
focus is essentially on building belief and faith, there are other outcomes to be
gained through contact with the Church. Through
regular attendances, we all gradually become more content with life;
get a ‘better handle on it’
Normally our relationships with those people most precious
to us, especially our families, are also improved as the messages of Jesus ‘sink in’. For
some people, these positive changes are more significant than for
but when looking back on our old selves after prolonged
exposure to the
Church we should all see improvement. Simply put, the Spirit touches us as a result of our commitment to Jesus.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.
We just cannot
seem to get
this positive impact on our lives, no matter how much we study and
practise Christianity in
isolation, without becoming a genuine member of the ‘body
church-led growth of knowledge and faith, together with its use in our
lives, will as already indicated also lead to a much more satisfying, contented life. This is something that many of us do not even expect to happen ... it is a ‘real return on our investment’ in faith.
6. BUILDING BELIEF THROUGH OUR EXPERIENCES
And finally, and again very importantly, depending on the type of church with
have fellowship, we should at
least notice subtle
evidence of his presence and possibly even tangible evidence.
The article following the next one leads into that related subject of tangible or
palpable evidence. And look ... I do not make that statement lightly!
As stated above, other
types of evidence which are more subtle are evident in all types of
churches. Of course they can be witnessed even in the traditional/
mainline Protestant and Catholic areas of the Church. You can read
about them in the article, "The subtle stuff of any church".
Continue to the next article, “Choosing a church”.