Thursday

Disillusioned? 5 Reasons to Go to Church

The First African Baptist Church, Savannah, GA

Many Christians are disillusioned with church.

Perhaps they've been hurt, neglected, or disappointed. They see its shortcomings and failures and wonder if they'd be better off without it. After all, in this world of cyber everything, we can read devotions on an E-reader, watch a service on our televisions, and participate in online Bible study without ever leaving our homes.

Why bother then, to go to church?



Here are 5 Reasons to Go to Church:


1. Christ loved the church and gave himself for it (Eph. 5:25). Christ didn't love the Internet, parachurch organizations, or social clubs. He loved the church. He loved the church.
He loved the church. So much that He died for it. That's reason enough if you ask me. 

2. God instituted the church (Mat. 16:18). In the days following the ascension of Jesus Christ, God birthed the New Testament church. Through salvation, He initiated Christians into a universal church, but he also began to place Christians in local churches. The book of Acts is a glorious testimony of how He sent disciples everywhere to establish groups of believers, complete with leadership and governments.

3. We need the church (Acts. 12:5, Heb. 10:24-25). We need each other to encourage us toward spiritual maturity, hold us accountable, pray for us, and help in our time of need. If you've ever experienced the love of a local church during a time of sickness or loss, you know there is no greater expression of God's care on earth than that of a body of believers rallying around.


4. The church needs us (1 Cor. 12:28). Although God could do all His work on earth by Himself, He chooses to let us be part of it. By serving others through a local church, we get to participate in the work He's doing in the world. It is a spiritual oxymoron--that we gain much more than we give when we give it to God. As we spend our time, money, and energy serving others through the local church, God blesses us in ways we could never imagine. Best of all, we become the hands and feet of Jesus.


5.  We get to shine for Jesus. During a recent power outage, I stumbled around in the inky blackness with only the faint glow of my cell phone to light my path. Finding the stash of half-burned candles left over from Christmases past, I stuck several of them in candle holders, lit them, and propped a mirror behind them to reflect their light. The resulting glow lit the entire room and shone out through the window. My husband, coming in from the front yard, said it was the only light shining in the neighborhood.


When I try to be a spiritual Lone Ranger, my impact is equivalent to the faint glow of my cell phone. On a good day, with limited contacts, resources, and money, I can influence a few people in the name of Christ. But when I stand with my brothers and sisters in my local church, our lights, reflected by Jesus Christ our Savior, shine brightly into a dark world.

"Let your light so shine that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, which is in Heaven" (Mat. 5:16).


If you've been disappointed, hurt, or disillusioned by the church, I encourage you to give it another try. Don't go looking for the perfect church, go looking for our perfect Savior. If you keep your eyes on Him, the other things won't seem to matter as much. Perhaps God will even use you to be a part of the solution, reflecting His love through you to the people who need His presence most.


The church = an imperfect group of sinners centered around a perfect Savior.



 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless" (Eph. 5:25-27).





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13 comments:

  1. What a wonderful exhortation! It is so very much needed today when the intimacy of church life can bring about irritations and (dare I say)judgements.

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    1. Absolutely, Betsy -- it's important to keep in mind how much Christ values the church. THat helps us value it too! Thanks for commenting :)

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  2. Great reasons we should be actively attending church. We can give light to others and receive light from loving members when needed as well. Following God's will for each of us. Well done, Lori!

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  3. I wonder, because attending church is "easy" in the US, if we take it too much for granted. Wonder if our attitude would be different if the privilege was taken away? May it never be! THanks for commenting, Buffy.

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  4. Thank you for visiting my blog today. Glad you enjoyed your island visit also. Excellent post. Blessings.

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  5. Great post - I agree that many people have been hurt by the "church" and then don't go any more - but we are all sinners in this world, and that means that even in church we can be hurt. But we need the Church for all the good it can do for us and for others.

    Thanks for stopping by my Reading List!

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  6. This is so needed today. Thank you for putting it so encouragingly well. I love our church. It is such a blessing. We went many years looking for a church, so I understand how others might feel...keep looking until you find a place of worship. Virtual fellowship is good; actual fellowship is a blessing!!

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  7. Judith,

    You're right, just like doing without food for an extended period of time makes us realize how hungry we are, not having a church family makes us ache in ways a hamburger just can't fix. And there's nothing like a real-life shoulder to cry on or person to pray with us when we most need it. Can't find that in the cyberworld. Thanks for commenting. God bless!

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  8. What an insightful and to the point post; I loved it. Thanks. I am falling in love with my local little church more and more!

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  9. I wrote on this same topic many years ago and posted it one of my blogs earlier this year here: http://watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-church.html

    We went through being disillusioned and changing churches two years ago. Fortunately, we quickly found one where we fit well.

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  10. I love your example of the candles shining together, and lighting up the world.

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  11. Great list! Being part of a community of believers is so important.

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