"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."
There are certain questions that we hardly ask ourselves. We either assume that we already have answers to these unasked questions or that they are rather inconsequential to our lives and purposes. However, the truth is that we are absolutely wrong in these assumptions. These questions that we overlook bear great significance and until we lay them to rest, we might just be leaving our doors open to confusion and unfulfillment. Though the title may suggest otherwise, this article is not aimed only at answering the question, “Why do I go to church?” But it will also make you examine, “Why do I not?”
The world today is at a very dangerous junction. The church is under serious attack. Churches are being burnt in China, evangelism is denigrated in Russia, charlatans are taking over the American church and houses of Christian worship are either empty or sold for ungodly purposes in Britain. So, I reason that there is no better time to consider this question than now. As a church-going Christian, in case you weren’t paying attention, it seems you’re on an unpopular boat. While in Africa it is not an uncommon scenario to find people say that, “I go to church”, the bone of contention is whether or not they do it for the right reasons.
No Reason At All
It is true that there are many right reasons to go to church but there are even more reasons which are wrong. And of all the answers that might be fit for this question, the best is no answer at all. Until you go to church for primarily no reason, I do not think that you have gotten to that place where God wants you to be. When I ask you, “Why do you go to church?”, it is as though I query, “Why do you go home?” Because church is home: it is where your heart lies, it is where your brothers and sisters are. Or do you so hastily forget Jesus’ words to his disciples? “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”
Now I know that some wolves are amidst us who call themselves believers and saints and persuade us to remain home and listen to messages in our beds or follow a virtual church. The Early Church didn’t build cathedrals after all. But the Apostles and the early disciples met together PHYSICALLY and even more frequently than we can ever propose to in our busy generation. They subjected themselves to a degree of accountability and a certain structure that helped them grow spiritually. We ought also to do the same and beware of these wolves.
Unprofitable Reasons to Go to Church
- For the culture. I have been in the church all my life (thank God for getting hold of my parents and even so, firmly). I believe that this is the greatest heritage they have handed over to me. But in all this time, I have come to realize that one of the most toxic reasons to go to church is what I term as “for the culture”. People who go to church for the culture have had no experience of God. They go to church because that’s all they’ve known to do. They are the ones who have a sense of entitlement about God. They criticize everything so fiercely because they feel they know all that the church is about.
- For fun and friendship. I found out that after college, many people stop going to church. Life became more serious and demanding, you know! But it is most likely than not that they used to go to church for the wrong reasons originally; is there any better place to meet their jolly friends?
- For the right connections. Maybe some of your dream business partners love to work with church members. That lady you want to marry so badly wouldn’t give you a thought if you’re not active in church. So, why not fake it till you make it?
- For the hypocrites. In many cultures, it is still a very honorable thing to go to church; a pious man commands respect. So, “I will go to church and receive the accolades, wear my finest robes to God’s house on Sunday and live in filth the rest of the week.” The evil in this school of thought already speaks so loudly for itself.
True Benefits of Going to Church
But after you have learned to go to church for no reason at all, you will then discover that there are many blessings that accompany this practice.
- Home of love. Of all these benefits, I regard the experience of love the most. And the fastest way to partake of this experience is to be the propagator of love yourself.
- Edification. Then you will enjoy strength, growth, and edification too. “For how could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight? Unless their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had surrendered them?”
- Corporate anointing. God is especially pleased when we obey His commands and He shows this by sending His corporate anointing. This is why more sick are healed, dead raised and unsaved saved when we gather together. Hallelujah!
Finally, I want to encourage you to be proud of home. When the church is under attack, do not join them. God is not asking you to defend His body, He does that all by Himself. But don’t diss the church. She’s only imperfect because you’re part of it. God bless!