We’ve all wondered, “Why should I go to church?”
Did you know that a recent study found that 40% of Americans claim to attend weekly church services, but less than 20% actually do? I’ve been a Christian my entire life, but I wasn’t a part of that 20% for several years. After having no choice but to attend church twice a week growing up, I eventually had to decide for myself. Why should I go to church?
I have valid excuses!
I had some great reasons to skip services, and regularly rotated them when one reason stopped feeling convincing. But one by one, my excuses dropped like flies.
- The weekends are for family time. Church is only one hour long, and at a time that my family is either sleeping or watching TV. So we’re not missing out on any meaningful connections. In fact, we may be creating a more meaningful connection by attending church together.
- But I need a day to sleep in! Saturday is a great day to sleep in. Most churches also offer late afternoon and evening services.
- Church is full of hypocrites. Church is full of works-in-progress. If I went to a hospital because I broke a bone, I wouldn’t leave because all of the people in the waiting room were also broken or sick. I wouldn’t assume the hospital wasn’t doing its job. We’re all there for the same reason. We’re all just broken in different ways.
- I can’t find a church that I love. Keep looking. I live in San Antonio. If I tried a new church every Sunday, it would take me nearly 17 years to visit every church within city limits. There’s a good chance I’ll like one of them.
- My husband and I can’t agree on a church. My husband and I can’t agree on what to eat for dinner. See above: I can’t find a church that I love.
- You don’t have to attend a church to be a Christian! I pray and read the Bible just fine on my own! Very true. But I wasn’t praying or reading the Bible regularly. And even if I had been practicing daily Bible devotionals, church would still help to further strengthen my faith.
As my excuses slowly lost their credibility, my mindset started to change. I stopped focusing on what I had to lose by attending church, and began considering what I might gain. And I have to tell you, the list of benefits felt pretty substantial.
So why should I go to church? Well…
First, church gets me outside of my own thoughts and personal circumstances and challenges me with a new perspective.
If I only pray and study the Bible in isolation, then my own mindset and circumstances will determine what I learn. A pastor or teacher who’s not inside of my own head every day will present a different, and likely beneficial, perspective.
Second, church reminds me that the world does not revolve around me.
Sermons remind me not to rely on myself and my own understanding, but to focus on the wisdom and purposes of God. In church, I am constantly encouraged to prioritize serving others, both locally and around the world. Without these reminders, I’m inclined to practicing a more selfish faith.
Third, church surrounds me with other people who share my faith, and often connects us as friends.
As in any endeavor in life, it’s encouraging to be surrounded by those with similar values and goals. Plus with programs like small groups, even slightly shy people like myself can make friends.
Fourth, church refreshes me after a long week and recharges me for the next.
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to my faith, I’m usually limping across the finish line by Friday or Saturday. Church helps me to heal my wounds and refocus my mind and heart. It also equips me with the strength I need for the coming week.
And finally, church makes Jesus real to my child.
Church introduces my daughter to God and the building blocks of our faith in a way that’s fun, creative, and developmentally-appropriate. I know that Sunday school is one of the highlights of her week. Sometimes that knowledge is the only thing that drags me out of bed on Sunday morning.
Why should I go to church? Because it benefits my faith.
So why should I go to church? It presents me with a new and less selfish perspective, and surrounds and connects me with people who share my beliefs. It refreshes and recharges me, and introduces my child to Jesus.
Can you be a strong Christian without attending a church? Absolutely! But attending church offers so many benefits to your faith.
Although I often struggle to drag my butt out of bed on a Sunday, I have never, ever regretted attending a service. It always benefits me in some way. Give yourself that benefit this week!
P.S. Want to teach your kids about Jesus, but don’t know where to start? Download a free worksheet full of links to short Bible stories, simple memory verses, free Bible coloring pages, and more resources to better equip you to teach your kids about Jesus! Nab it here!
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