Why do you go to church where you go to church? Some of those who are blessed to still live in their hometown may say that they were “raised” in that church. It’s where their siblings, parents and grandparents went to church. Others may decide to go to church where the “elite” go – you know, it’s good to go to church with doctors, lawyers, and educators. Others may go because of the great youth program they have. Their teens go on all kinds of trips and do lots of good works. Young parents may be looking for a church that has a “cradle roll” class for their little one. It would be nice to be able to go to class and just have to deal with a squirmy toddler for one hour during worship instead of two. Some just like that preacher – he’s can tell a story like no one else! Others say – well, we go to that church because it’s just down the street. We don’t have to get out in the traffic to get there, especially if we’re running late. Or maybe, you chose the church that has the time of services that fit your schedule the best – you know, if you get out at 11:00 a.m. on Sundays, you can beat the “rush” to the restaurants. So, why do you go to church where you go to church?
Did you notice that all of the “reasons” above have to do with YOU? They are based on your convenience, time, interests, and likes. Should that be the standard on which we base our eternal destiny? Did God ask you what you think you should do in order to please Him? You know, opinions are like noses – all of God’s children have one, but He didn’t ask me for mine and He didn’t ask you for yours. So what should be the deciding factor of where we go to church?
Instead of looking for the church closest to our desires, we should look for the church who is following God’s plan – the one that is closest to the Bible. The Lord has outlined the type of worship that He wants in the New Testament. We must seek the “pure and undefiled religion before God our Father” (James 1:27). We must look for a church that is “seeking to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). The congregation should be “Studying to shew themselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). Worship services should include partaking of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7), prayers (James 5:16), giving of our means (I Corinthians 16:2), teaching (II Timothy 4:2) and singing songs of hymns and praise (Ephesians 5:19-20). We must remember that worship doesn’t occur in the pulpit – worship occurs in the hearts of those in the pews.
Jesus said, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). Why do you go to church where you go to church? Simply blessed, Courtney