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WHY WE GO TO CHURCH

Why we do need to attend services within
Christian faith communities,  during
our search for faith and belief
.

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1.    INTRODUCTION

Attending services with communities 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 websites 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 sense of peace within you that will remain for some time. That seems to be the minimum 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

I accept that going to church may bring you into the company of frail sinners, most of whom are trying to become 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.

But, you will also find that a very high proportion of people in church have deep 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.

And 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

Your church of choice should also lead youthrough sermons (talks) from church leaders during services and guided Bible studiesto better understand God and the relationship with him that awaits you. We all need to continually build our knowledge of God; what he offers us 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 our faith and belief.

The first article for the websites final section titled, “Christianity explained presents the simple basis of the religion at least, including the positive features that set it apart from 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 belief and faith continues to grow. And the Church is the best place to guide us in that regard.

4.    BECOMING A 'MEMBER' OF THE CHURCH

Importantly, 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 article’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’ for example.

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 others, 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.
[Galations 5:22]

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 of Christ’ (the Church).

Our 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 which we 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.