This is from Elaine Woods:
Why do you go to church?
This was the question I asked my daughter yesterday afternoon while driving to piano lessons.
I thought for sure she would say, “Because you make me.”
Instead she replied, “Because I like to learn about Jesus.”
Taking a cue from my pause, she continued her thought,
“Mom, it’s like if you have a friend, you want to get to know all about them.”
As I thought about her answer, I realized how true her statement was. We not only learn about Jesus in church from scripture and sermons, but from the fellowship of members and guests; how we interact with each other.
Do we rush into worship?
Do we exit right after the service?
Spending time at coffee hour does more than give you a caffeine rush. It allows time for multigenerational conversation: kids sharing with grandparents; mothers bonding with other mothers over family issues; teenagers joking with young kids.
Faith is about relationships.
When we feel connected to something, we feel a part of it and take ownership in it.
That’s when the Gospel comes alive.
People return to church week after week because of the people they will see there. Knowing someone’s name and asking them about their week means so much.
You never know if coming to church is the highlight of someone’s week. I remember years ago a friend was going through a difficult breakup. The only thing that got her from week to week was knowing that on Sunday mornings, she would hear an inspiration message and feel connected to something bigger than herself. She felt a part of God’s family when she worshipped.
One of my favorite parts of the week is Sunday morning. You may think I’m just saying that because I work at a church, but I truly mean it from the heart. I’m energized and uplifted when I interact with teachers, parents, kids, guests, and friends on Sunday morning.
I hear stories from parents on how their child actually wants to attend church again because of a Sunday school group. I get to see the joy in a child’s face as they recognize their teacher and run up to give a hug.
I hear families planning their next weekend outing, or dads strategizing on how best to coach their child’s basketball game.
I’ve seen tears well up in the eyes of those singing or listening to a favorite song in worship.
I’ve also seen the faces of those exiting worship; shaking the pastor’s hand and thanking them for preaching, “as if you read my mind.”
When Jesus began his ministry, he didn’t do it alone.
He gathered 12 Apostles to minister with him. He was teaching us about fellowship, that is, a partnership; a bond with each other.
In ministering to and with the Apostles, Jesus was modeling to us what the church body should look like; Groups of people coming together, developing friendships, working together in the body of Christ, and then sharing their experiences with others.
We gather in church as a physical form of fellowship. As followers of Christ, we also experience fellowship when we gather spiritually in one mind and body worshipping our Lord.
Coming to church on Sunday mornings not only allows us to learn about Jesus, but we get to experience first hand what Christ meant by fellowship.