Why do you go to church?
I hadn’t really thought about it before… that’s what Christians do, right? But then several people challenged my assumptions, and this question has been nagging me ever since.
I didn’t always go to church. My family wasn’t “religious” and church wasn’t part of my childhood. When I became a believer, at the end of my freshman year in college, all my Christian friends assumed I’d be going to church with them—so I did. I’ve been attending church regularly ever since.
Recently, during my search for a meaningful church experience, I re-examined my purpose in attending a weekend service. What was the point? I searched through scripture, talked to friends, and read books and articles. Along the way, I learned a few things.
Last week a friend asked me how our church was doing. She used to worship there too, but a life crisis sent her searching for something different, and she’s been a member at her new church for three years now.
I answered the way I usually do—the church is still doing a good job on the things they’ve always done well. The sermons are biblical and engaging, the music has a world-wide reputation for excellence, and the staff is dedicated. Short-term mission teams are being sent out and a new project will focus on the needs here in our city. People are getting to know God for the first time and disciples are being made. In fact, it sounds just about perfect.
Then she asked a harder question: how am I doing with the church? And I had to truthfully state that I’m frustrated.
Why do we go to church?
I was wondering about this lately, after talking with a friend who hasn’t been to a service in almost a year. They hadn’t stopped believing in God. They hadn’t lost their faith. They just didn’t see the point of going to a worship service.
Lots of people feel that one can be spiritual without sitting in a pew. I know I feel closer to God when I’m out in nature than I do in most church buildings. A popular book, So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore, by Jake Coleson, deals with some of the many reasons people give up on church, and offers an alternative. You can agree with his viewpoint or not, but he has clearly hit a nerve.
In response to a growing movement away from traditional worship services, many churches are seeking cultural relevance. If your church is anything like ours, you will recognize it in this hilarious video.