Why Go To Church?

http://bible.com/111/col.3.16.niv Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

“Why go to church?” some ask, pointing out that God is everywhere,  and our worship should go with us wherever we may be.   This is especially common among millennials who don’t  place the same importance on worship in community as the older generation.

I understand why the millenials come to this conclusion.  They grew up seeing the older generation placing so much importance on church buildings and religious programming while neglecting the mandate to take the love of Christ into the world around them.

Many churches get into heated arguments and put so much passion into what color the carpets are in the sanctuary, or what type of pavers to use in the walkway in front of the church all while shirking their responsibility to take the message of love into the world. Some of these same churches want pastors to lead them into the next new building campaign rather than leading them out into the streets with arms reaching out to the very people that need the message of Christ the most.

So I can understand why some of the younger generation have come to such a conclusion. Many of these younger people have had very moving experiences — life changing experiences where perhaps they truly felt the presence of God in a very strong way for the first time of their lives in places that did not look like church sanctuaries.  These places may have been in an arena during a concert, or it may have been in an old building run by campus ministry. And so with these experiences that differ from that of their elders,  it’s no wonder that they see things differently.

Paul’s epistle to the church in Colossae was not a letter to teach the church to choose red or burgundy carpet in case Timothy got clumsy with the elements during communion.  And it wasn’t about putting up “no skateboarding” signs to keep long haired kids with baggie pants at a safe distance.  It was about community.

We as Christians have a responsibility to be in community with one another.  To pray for and with others.  To teach others, and to learn from others. And yes, to admonish each other and to be in accountability to others.

It is for this sense of community, this powerful witness of other Christ followers that we go to church.  And it us so we can be there for our brothers and sisters that we go to church.

There was a time in my life when I don’t know I could have made it without the help from community.  Some of you may not even realize what others are going through, yet can be a comfort to them just being in their presence.  Maybe your “joyful noise” today may give them comfort, helping them find their voice to sing praises beside you.   And one day they will return that favor.

Now I’d better get ready for church.  Will I see you there?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s