Monday, January 19, 2009

What's the big deal about church?

Why do you go to
church?

For a moment, I'd like to talk to just the churched folks in my audience. I am well aware of those of you who aren't...and even though I'm a preacher type, have often felt more sympathy with you than the other brand. But for those of you who do go, assuming you are beyond the age where you are forced at gunpoint to go to church, with a combination of threats, bribes, pinches, stares, and the ubiquitous gum and candy gifts from your mother/grandmother; why in the wide, wide world of sports do you go to church?

Well-known Christian pollster George Barna claims there is a revolution going on right now in church attendance.

There is a new breed of Christ-follower in America today. These are people who are more interested in being the Church than in going to church. They are millions strong...
So with all these true believers dropping like flies, why are you still in the game? I'd like to hear from you,

whether your church background is among the grandest:
or the most pedestrian...



I'd like you to post your comments in one or two sentences:
Why I go to church?
or "What I like about my church..."

Thanks. I'll mention the best posts in University chapel on Wednesday.

8 comments:

Matthew said...

I think for me, church, particularly church attendance, is important for two reasons (there are more, but these are two initial reasons). First, there is something powerful about having one unifying service that brings a large group of people together around a common purpose. That's why at a place like Regent no one will convince me that it wouldn't be beneficial for there to be one chapel that everyone is required to come to. I believe very strongly in such "unifying events". Second, I'm not trying to be too theological, but I believe there is a grace released to people in a corporate church service where there are church leaders present. I have come to believe this and sense this the older I get.

Bri said...

I go to church BECAUSE I'm not "there" yet. I go to church to learn things that I don't have time to learn by myself because my attention is divided between God, work, school, and a myriad of other things. I go to learn historical context and the relationship between scriptures and how the whole Bible points to Christ. I go to church to meet other believers and worship God together. In the church, I have found believers from all walks of life, maturities of faith, religious backgrounds, and doctrinal viewpoints. At church, I can interact with all of these people; I glean wisdom from those who are seasoned with many years, trials, and joys in faith, while I (hopefully) share my life, struggles, and rare moments of revelation with those younger than I. I suppose that ultimately I go to church to learn more about God so I can better serve Him. I learn to pray, to read and understand his revealed word, to praise, to serve, to confess, and to give. And I learn to submit--both to God and to those whom He has placed in authority over me. I go to church to die to myself. And I go to church to take communion, to proclaim that I live because of the body and blood that Christ gave for me. And when I stumble, the church brings me back to the only one who can save me. If I have learned anything thus far from the church, it is that I will never be "there" in this life, and until the day when Christ returns, the church (you and I) will continue to be prepared for her groom.

J.R. Peaks said...

What I like about my church is that they focus on balance. We are a church that really focuses on experiencing God in incredible ways, but also encourages us beyond experience to make those things active in our daily lives. That is my favorite thing about my church. It is real people with real problems coming together to experience a real God for real life change.

Grace said...

I go to church because I love God -- to worship Him and to be a part of the community. Community is knowing what is happening with people (believers & non-believers alike)and being active to pray and serve when necessary. I attend church because of my personal relationship with my Lord -- not the other way around.

Roseanne said...

Going to church allows me to experience community with other believers. I have the opportunity to learn more about God's Word at church. Most importantly, I enjoy worshiping the Lord.

Tambre said...

I go to church, in particular the church I go to, because there is something amazing about being a part of a congregation of 1,000-2,000 that is openly expressing their love for Christ. The love that flows through the room is real and is palpable!!! I have always been a private person, especially with religion and emotions, and to be able to freely express my emotions through laughter, tears, or whatever I may be feeling at the moment is truly exhilirating. Also, it never fails that I feel as though God is speaking to me through each of the sermons because it feels as though the sermon is meant for me. But, God knew what he was doing when I was introduced to my church. I had fallen away from him and he knew a "traditional" church would not to do it for me. So, he introduced me to my current church and I within 2 services I had recommitted myself to him and was saved! I have been "addicted" since then! My week just isn't the same if I don't go to church. Also, I found my church was my therapy when I was going through struggles with my marriage and it continues to be my therapy during trying times.

kiddrev said...

Thanks for sharing everyone! I got lots of great feedback on this, which encourages me. Maybe Barna was wrong--there is life for the church (ha) God certainly said so. That said, I heard mostly positive comments on the RELATIONAL, encouraging, supporting role of a church body. So let's all go and BE what we all WANT. Church isn't just a fast food restaurant, but a family reunion where we all bring our favorite dish to share.

And thanks to each of you who did share!

Harold said...

Philosophy of Dysfunctional Behavior

We apprize the post modern economy: Highly sophisticated and computerized supply chain theology places the consumer in great peril. For the sake of ‘moments of money’ the whole business model has become Harvard Stupid. Let there be no doubt as to the foundations of our dysfunctional economy.
The Dutch were tossed out of the New Amsterdam Colony. Noetic tampering and cultural speculation by Oxford preceded the American Revolution, such an angel assisting the East India Tea Company being privileged about the world. The flag that Betsy Ross made was the flag of the East India Tea Company and the Dutch tossed away the English King. During the revolution Betsy Ross lost two different husbands at the hands of the British, but her flag episode did not appear in history until 1880, and written by a grand-son in 1873.

Industrialism is in for a long term decline

Manufacturing is no longer a major factor in this country. After: We became a service economy and our consumer base of spending was built upon the spending habits of the Baby Boomers. Dewey’s formula, for spending: Being concerned with that which is simply fashionable, changes from age to age.

The Baby Boomers are fading out of the consumer economy, and not gradually. Many are being forced out of the work place and into an early retirement. The retirement of this population will reduce the requirement for many services, and spending will be dramatically reduced. At the same time, the cost of assisting our ever ageing population will be borne by a reduction of numbers that will supply required services. And this is both a long term problem, and one that will increase throughout the coming decades.

I advise against any type of spending. The retired individual may have already purchased his last automobile. And spending increases by a government, that will for decades have its revenue stream reduced, will result in disaster. Growth and development, and expenditures, must be confined to the Military and Public Health. Whole countries are on the verge of collapsing and cannot support its population. Millions of people have moved into Europe, and stressing its generosity. China has a huge population of males, and much fewer females, and this type of social engineering has not survived throughout history. In the past few years social engineering has ruined our own economy, and dysfunctional behavior will be mimicked by the young.

Don’t be looking for younger years to follow until the Baby Boomers of 2007 matures! www.publishingink.com

Watch, for the bombs…as they fall in the streets.