Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why do I go to Church?

I'm not going to answer this question.

And notice that I am not asking 'Why do people go to church?' or 'Why should you go to church?"; the question is 'Why do YOU go to church?'

This was a question I wrestled with most of the summer.
I know the "correct" answer but what I needed to know was my own personal answer; the completely honest answer that God already knows and perhaps I have kept hidden from myself.

I will tell you that the first answer that came to my mind was "because it would feel weird not to". My second thought was "now that's a rotten answer", but it was true. I've gone to church all my life so to sit home consistently on a Sunday morning would feel pretty strange.

But is that enough of a reason?

I lead an adult Sunday school class and we vary greatly in how many people are there any given Sunday, which of course leads to the discussion of how do we get people to come to Sunday school? It's obviously not so much of a habit as is attendance at the morning service.

I was in a heated discussion last night about children in the church service as opposed to being in children's church and I find that the answer circles back to this question - Why do I go to church? and therefore why do I take my children to church?

Our churches are packed with people who have sat in the pews every Sunday of their lives because of the answer "It's what we do on Sunday".

I contend that is not enough of an answer.

The second answer is "It's where my friends are".
A sense of community is a wonderful and needful thing - why else would there be as many organizations as there are, Elks and Lions and women's clubs etc., if we didn't have this longing in us to be identified with a group of like minded individuals - and to have a place to bring that great new pot luck recipe...!

But is that answer enough?
I think you know the answer is "no" but my question remains - If you are totally honest with yourself about your motivation to get up every Sunday and walk in the church doors, what is the answer? No one else needs to know your answer but you do. It is imperative for us, as followers of Christ, to examine the things that may have become nothing more than religious habits and see where our heart truly is.

And when you find your answer, you may discover, as I have, that puts a new lens in place to how you view your church attendance and your own attitude in worship.

Why do you go to church?

God already knows.

But do you?

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