Why go to church?

I'm taking part in a 7 day blogging challenge called 7 days to get back your blogging groove.

The challenge each day is to post in a particular style which is not given until the day.

Yesterday's challenge was to publish a 'list post'. So I posted a list of 5 short prayers for everyday activities. Today's challenge is to post an answer to a frequently asked question in your own niche. The question I've chosen is 'why go to church? I've broken that down into 3 subsidiary questions:

  1. Is it worth going to church even if I'm not sure if Christianity is for me?
  2. Can I be a Christian and not go to church?
  3. If I am a Christian why should I go to church?
In a short post like this I can only give a few pointers, rather than an in-depth complete answer.


Is it worth going to church even if I'm not sure if Christianity is for me?


The short answer is yes. I know a number of people who go to church occasionally or regularly who would not call themselves Christians.

Why would it be worthwhile for people who are not sure about Christianity to go to church?

In the booklet, 'Why go to Church: A Little Book of Guidance' John Pritchard suggests several answers:
  • Because we're on a journey
  • Because we're looking for a framework to live in
  • Because churches make an honest attempt at community in a culture that's forgotten how to do it
  • Because I'm a learner, and church seems to be a community of learners
  • Because the building talks a different language, and it's fascinating
  • Because I might strike lucky
  • Because I want to get in touch with God
  • Because when times are hard, there are resources to be found there
  • Because there's a saint or two to be found in there, and saints are exciting

Can I be a Christian and not go to church?


The short answer is yes. I know more than a few Christians who do not go to church. Some of those are people who used to attend worship service regularly but have now stopped. This can be for a variety of reasons, for example:
  • physical illness, frailty or mental health problems
  • a preference for solitude in worship
  • finding alternative Christian communities online
  • disenchantment with the church they used to attend
  • experience of abuse in church situations

If I am a Christian why should I go to church?

  • While it is possible to follow Jesus without going to church it can be isolating and difficult.
  • Church isn't only a building, it is a community. From the very beginning of the church after the resurrection of Jesus, those who believed in him met regularly together. They worshipped together. They shared meals. They pooled their resources to give to those in need. They studied the Scriptures and passed on the apostles' teaching.
  • Christians have a mutual responsibility to encourage each other in the faith, to love one another, to pray for one another and to join together to pray for the needs of the world. This cannot be done in isolation.
  • The church (or community of believers) is where Jesus' followers gather around a common table, to share bread and wine with thanksgiving in obedience to Jesus and together to receive spiritual nourishment from him. Without participating regularly in Holy Communion, I for one could not live as a Christian.
I am sure there are many more good reasons for going to church, but I want to keep this post short. If you go to church regularly why do you do this? If you don't, but call yourself a Christian, why don't you go to church?

Image Credit: Pixabay, CC License

Comments

  1. I go to church for the sense of connection with the Divine. The community with others is valuable too! I joined the Episcopal church earlier this year and I really like the communion / Eucharist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your words, 'connection', 'community' and 'communion' and what they mean to me in a Christian context sum up the reasons why I 'go to church'. I feel another blog post coming on around this theme - one to store for later. Thank you Rosana for your comment.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers' Union

What is a holiday?

Maximilian Kolbe (1894 - 1941)

Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Minoresses (Poor Clares)

The Transfiguration of our Lord