Tag Archives: church attendance

What should church be like?

We have spent several days considering whether or not a believer has to attend regular Sunday worship at a local church.  Perhaps the answer would be easier for all of us if church were what it is supposed to be.  Of course, what I am about to describe is somewhere in the realm of fantasy.  It removes the human factor, or, better, the “flesh factor.”  As long as we remain here, this church will be a dream.  However, we could try….

The primary purpose of the church should be to share love.   What?  What about worship?  Well, we all know that we can worship alone, but how do we love alone?  Besides, what do you think Paul meant when he said that you could sing like the angels and still sound like clanging brass without love?  To love others is to worship God.

Remember the old song, “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love”?   Some churches don’t dare sing that song, do they?  If they were judged by their love, no one would know they were Christians.  Oh, most of them think of themselves as loving, of course.  Certain people in the church are loved a great deal… and they seem to love themselves just fine.  But love can be hard to find at many churches.

Why should love be the center point?  Because Jesus is the center point.  Because He loves us, we should love each other.  Because He loves the lost, we should love the lost.  Because His heart is our heart, our motives and actions toward others should be His. 

Once you look past things like doctrine, missions, service, worship and everything else churches think they do, you see that love is really the point.  Everything flows out of love.  Even right doctrine can only be enjoyed in connection with love.  Nobody cares if you are right if being right means you don’t care.

No comparisons, bearing one another’s burdens, respecting each other’s differences, no cliques or elitism, patience, welcome, acceptance—these are the things of love.  This is what church should be like.


Filed under Church, Freedom, heart, Relationship, Uncategorized

Do We Have To Go To Church? 6

Let’s have some fun!

Good reasons for attending regular worship

  1. To enjoy the company of other believers
  2. To learn about the love of God from a grace-filled teacher
  3. To have a somewhat less distracted time of personal worship
  4. To publicly acknowledge the activity and love of God in your own life
  5. To learn of God’s activity and love in the lives of others
  6. To be drawn back to right thinking after a spiritually confusing week
  7. To hear something from God that you have not been able to hear at home or work

Bad reasons for attending regular worship

  1. So that others will think you are a good person
  2. Because it is your duty
  3. To show off your new clothes, well-behaved kids, new hair-do, or big Bible
  4. To learn the latest about other church people
  5. Because you have always done it
  6. Because those who miss will be punished


Good reasons for not attending regular worship

  1. You don’t believe all that stuff anyway
  2. The preacher doesn’t believe all that stuff anyway
  3. You only do it because you feel guilty
  4. The preacher wouldn’t know grace if he tripped over it
  5. You feel more guilty every time you go

(Of course, a couple of these could be changed simply by finding another church!)

Bad reasons for not attending regular worship

  1. You don’t like the music
  2. They ask for money
  3. You would rather sleep in
  4. You are just out of the habit
  5. You can find God in bed, in the park, on the golf course, on the lake

So tell me what you think!  Would you add anything to these lists, or take anything away?



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Filed under Church, grace, Legalism, Uncategorized

Do We Have To Go To Church? 5

I remember noticing that many families, in our old church, came angry and frustrated and frazzled. The children hadn’t eaten, the parents were upset with each other, and they were hardly feeling worshipful. Most were able to put on good church faces, but some couldn’t.  Let’s face it: it can be hard to get the whole family dressed and ready for church.  Any number of things can and will go wrong.  There may be times when coming is simply a duty and there is no joy or heart motivation at all.

Now, sometimes those who plow through the obstacles receive a special blessing.  A song, a message, or maybe a kind word from a friend—these can feel so good, even after a challenging morning.  Those who find this blessing will often remind others that church attendance is worth the struggle.  Sometimes those are not helpful words.

I saw moms who were so stressed and depressed that they received nothing but negative from coming to church.  They would have done much better sending Dad and the kids and staying home to enjoy a bath or a nap or a good book. 




Filed under Church, grace, Legalism