There are many reports about the state of the church. Some say that the church is in decline others say that with church planting it is growing. It all depends on who you ask.
Amidst all that though why should you go to church? Here are four reasons, none of them directly involving Jesus.
If you want a place to hang out with people that won’t involve drinking then church is the place for you. The likelihood of someone getting drunk and having a fight in church is unlikely. This of course depends on the church. You may stumble upon a church were there is a lot of fighting or a church were their is a lot of drinking. However the chances of finding both are rare.
If you want your children to learn to be “good kids” then being them to church. You might even pick up a few tips on how to behave yourself. However don’t worry about applying anything you hear about. You might even get lucky enough to find a church that actually tells you that these are just “Jesus’ suggestions”. If that’s the case you have hit the gold mind. DON’T LEAVE because in this church you can probably do whatever you want and never get judged.
Want someone to tell your issues to but won’t charge you anything for it? Then your local pastor is probably the guy your looking for. Go ahead and vent for hours. The pastor is happy to hear your problems. He may mention Jesus a few times, but if he does just tell him he is judging you and find a church that fits with point #2.
4. Financial Help
Need money but can’t find anyone to give you any? Your local church is the place. Attend long enough and you are sure to get some help. However church people get asked for money a lot so you want to make sure you build up a really good story. In some cases you might have to become a member, but it’s worth it. The financial benefits of becoming a member are extraordinary.
Now in case you think I’ve lost it let me reassure you I have not. I love the church and its members but the craziness that goes on in churches has got to stop. The list above may seem a little over critical or mean and it may be. However it is also all to true in many churches I have visited or attended.
People will attend for years because they want a safe and moral place for themselves and their children but never really interested in the changing power of the Holy Spirit through the cross of Jesus Christ. What is the church if it is not a place were broken people can come and be changed by a God that is anything but safe. This is the purpose of the church. To bring people to a Jesus that will change their lives.
The church should give financial help and counseling to those in need. However it is all for nothing if we do not help them make budgets and give them the resources to avoid the same problems again. Why don’t we give them financial counseling that helps them see that they, in some cases, are spending their money on things to make themselves feel better when only Jesus can do that.
If the church is not focused on and saturated with Jesus then it will become nothing but a club for people to come and meet together. There will still be good moral teaching and help but nothing that changes lives for eternity.
If you are looking for a church or attend church for the reasons mentioned above I hope you find a church that preaches Jesus instead of self help. I hope that before all else you find Jesus.
If you are apart of a church do one thing right now, pray. Pray for your pastor. Pray for your local leaders (elders, board members, etc). Pray for your congregation. Pray for yourself.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would work in the hearts and minds of all of us so that we, by the grace of God, can bring people into more than just a club.