Last week was “Back to Church” Sunday. I know that many of moms in our group attend various churches in the Lincoln area – there are many great Bible-believing churches to choose from. Maybe it is different for you – maybe you just can’t seem to find the energy or the time to make church a part of your weekly routine or you are too tired by Sunday to go anywhere. Or maybe there are other reasons why church is not on your list …
1) Judgment: you feel like others look down on you because of the choices that you are making or have made in the past. Quite honestly this may be true at times – we all struggle with wanting to make ourselves look better and sometimes that may mean making other feel less. I wish I could say that never happens, but it does … in every congregation there are going to be judgmental people, but the key is finding a church home where that happens less. And those churches are out there, especially if the congregation really understands grace – the fact that none of us deserve God’s favor! (Matthew 7:1-5; John 8:1-11; Ephesians 2:8-9)
2) Hypocrisy: people saying one thing and doing another. People who say they value honesty and then proceed to cheat on their taxes. Or worse. This one can be true too. Hopefully not in congregations where there is a realization that we are called to live to a higher standard – that we need to live according to what the Bible says. (James 2:14-18).
3) Nature: Maybe you feel you would rather meet with God in nature, rather than a building. While this is not always wrong, God wants more than that for us. He desires us to have fellowship with each other and that involves at least meeting together weekly. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
The thing is church is filled with imperfect people who need a Savior. At times you will find yourself disappointed or disillusioned or hurt or frustrated because of going to church. But despite all this, I strongly feel that church is vitally important – not to our salvation (that is only through Jesus’ death and resurrection) – but to our growth. You will not grow as much as a believer on your own. You won’t. Here are some reasons why I go to church.
1) To be able to sit uninterrupted and listen to someone tell me more about God and His word. (At least on the Sundays I am not teaching Sunday school 🙂 While I do manage to read Bible on my own, it is not the same as having it read to you. Plus my pastor has a different perspective than I do – I leave church feeling challenged and wanting to grow more in my own faith. (Proverbs 9:9-10)
2) To have children taught God’s word from someone that is not in my family. I love that my children come away from church also learning more about the Bible and experiencing God at their level. (II Timothy 3:14-15)
3) Support: Yes, the church is filled with struggling people, but that can be very reassuring at times as well – to know that I am not alone in trouble or in hardship. Plus my church family can be there to be a part of my life in the good times and in the bad. God did not intend for us to go through life alone – he wants us in community. Our MOPS group has a great start on that. But church is whole other level as it includes females and males of every age, giving us a better life perspective. . (Hebrews 10:24-25)
4) Service: Church gives me an opportunity to serve others. Whether you teach Sunday school or do music ministry or help elderly members in your congregation, there are many opportunities to make a difference. When we serve, we are blessed. (Galatians 6:9-10).
Interested in going back to church but not sure where to start? Talk to one of the steering members or mentors or your FGL – they would be glad to help you find a place where you feel comfortable and can grow in God. Our host church, First Evangelical Free Church, would be a great place to check out … services start at 9 and 10:30. For more information, please visit http://www.firstfreelincoln.org/ (While my family now attends a really small church, E-Free is the church where I grew up. I still enjoy Pastor’s Mark teaching, and when we visit, it still feel likes home).
First Free happens to be starting a new series this Sunday: “The Community Bible Experience.” There is more information on the church’s website. This would be a great Sunday to get back to church!