We had a talk last Sunday giving us some good reasons to go to church: to encourage one another, to grow both individually and collectively, to worship, and to spread the good news.
For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing. (1Thes 5:9-11).
Life isn’t always easy and a journey as a Christian is described as ‘the narrow road’. A church is a place of mutual encouragement, where we can meet with fellow Christians, who are able to help share our burdens. But it’s not all doom and gloom either – living as a Christian is a cause for celebration, basking in the forgiveness of God through the sacrifice of Jesus.
But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love. (Eph 4:15-16).
Church is a place of friendship, companionship, and fellowship, which are key ingredients of growth. As individuals, we need to strive to be like Jesus – it is a life’s work and will never be complete, but our mission is to grow. Collectively, as a church, we should aim to grow not so much in size (although that would be nice – please come along and join us) but grow in terms of mutual understanding, shared experience, and becoming a more suitable dwelling place for God. Some of the challenges that come our way, both individually and collectively, will promote growth if we respond to them positively.
But a time is coming — and now is here — when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers. (John 4:23).
Worship can take a number of different forms – singing, praying, reading, thinking. These are linked by the motivation behind them. Worship is about recognising the greatness of God, and trying to reflect that somehow. And this is one of the reasons for going to church, sharing and amplifying our worship with others.
Spread the good news
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matt 28:19-20).
We have something precious – the good news of salvation – and we want to share it! Our church has a number of different ways to share the good news. All of our services are open for anybody to attend. We sometimes run seminars for people to learn about the Bible. We do some work with local charities, so that we can help to address need where we see it (as Jesus did). But most importantly, we try to live our lives in such a way that people are drawn to share in our precious gift.