Sunday, March 30, 2008

tell me why

We went to church last night ( Saturday).  We went to a large church that has services on Sunday morning and Saturday night.  So today we didn't go.  And I feel a little guilty about it. So I've been questioning that.  Why should I feel guilty?  
Because I am an over-thinker, I have started asking myself "why do I go to church at all?"  Not in the sense that I shouldn't go, but simply wanting to know why...
Is it because it's what I've been trained to do?  Because it's what Good Christians do?  Because if I don't I'll be "backslidden"?  
I know the Bible says not to forsake gathering together -- which by the way doesn't mean we can't skip services now and then.  If I go to a retreat and spend a couple of days from my husband it certainly doesn't mean I've forsaken him.  But anyway, in obedience to that verse, we should gather together.  But what is my personal motivation?  Does it go beyond simple obedience?
I am going to think more about this and post about it later.  For now, I would like to hear your answers.  But please, don't immediately answer with the first thing that comes to mind.  Chances are, that will be the pat answer that you've been taught all your life.  I don't want to know why we should go to church.  I would like to know why you personally go.  Please, take some time to think about it.  Leave my blog and come back and answer later if you need to.


  1. I would like to say that I go out of a desire to please God, but that is NOT usually the case, is it? A lot of times it is probably a selfish reason, because it "feels good" to be with other Christians, to learn about God and how to live for Him, to sing praises to Him, etc. etc. That is evidenced by the fact that when I DON'T look forward to those things, as has been the case in this past church, I simply find excuses not to go. Very sad, huh? But the bottom line is, if I am a Christian, obeying or "doing what I should" DOES make me feel good. As the verse states: "Obedience brings blessings, disobedience brings curings." I know in my head that right feelings will follow right actions, but sometimes the right actions are not easy at all, are they?

  2. "Does it go beyond simple obedience?"
    I have found there have been times when it was nothing more. For complex reasons which our family felt were valid, serious, and potentially "church-changing", I went out of simple obedience.
    When it came down to that, it was usually the prelude to a church change. A vital part of our faith was missing, and we needed to relocate to find that part embraced.
    I can say with joy after a fair search for the right "fit" that I now attend with fervor, am anxious to get there in the morning, and am not disappointed when I leave because God is there His full presence. And when I must miss, I feel disappointment, not guilt, because rarely do I want to be absent.

  3. I believe I go because I enjoy listening to my pastor and when he teaches I get to apply it to where I am and where I am going and God usually uses it to show me something new or cool. Not every time, but it is worth the gamble - so to speak. :0) I also go because I love, just love corporate worship. I take time to be alone with God most every day and it is rich and wonderful. I think because I hang out with Him alone so often, hanging out with him with a bunch of other folks who are singing to Him deepens our time together. I don't know if that makes sense or not, but that's my story and I am sticking to it.

  4. I'll have to think on this because my first thought was, "because we are supposed to..." We had a pastor's wife years ago who dragged her sick children to church because God "would honor that". Those kids would lie on a pew,sicker than a poisoned pup (so to speak), miserable. Then she would wonder why it took two weeks for their colds to clear up!
    I don't like to miss either but will now contemplate why. I'm one who has stuck through thick and thin, through lots of upheavals. But I couldn't leave my ministry. There were times I thought about it, though. God never gave me permission to leave. Heavy stuff, Kay.

  5. This is something I was faced with when I moved down to Florida right after college. Most churches down here don't have Sunday evening or Wednesday night church. In fact, the church I am now a member of has 7NOW- seven nights of worship. It's the same service every night of the week and then 3 on Sunday. My church does this for two reasons. 1. We don't have enough room to fit everybody in on Sat nights and Sunday. 2. The pastor wanted to give people the option of coming to church when they were able to- job, sick kids, vacation.

    Going on a Saturday night or Tuesday night instead of Sunday morning was a big transition for me but I've recognized that it's all in my own head. I completely agree that we should "not forsake the assembling of ourselves" but I don't think it matters when we go.

    About going to church in general, I think the reason the Bible even mentions it is because God knew us. He knows we need accountability. Now, does it have to be weekly or bi-weekly? No, I don't think so. I think that's a personal preference. But I know that I need to go weekly or more because that's what I need. You may be different. Once a month can work for you.

    And I also don't think that that reference was just talking about church. Coming together with Christian friends/accountability can come as easily over dinner as in a pew.

    Oh gosh, I could go on but I'll stop there or you may never be able to get me to shut up.

  6. And the reasons I go? Because I need the accountability, love the ministry, enjoy the fellowship, and need something to do that betters me as a believer.

  7. I go because it is something I value in my life. I want to be around other believers.

  8. I need the fellowship.
    I love the Lord and know He wants us to gather, yet if I had my druthers, most times, after the sermon, I'd sneak out a back door. I still don't truly know why that is, but I prefer to take in the Lord as a private affair.
    However...there is something so powerful when I hear a bunch of people singing to the God they love, and I am in their presence.
    So I guess I would say that I go to Church so that I can feel that ""magic" of an outpouring of love for God, through song.

  9. Kay,

    I love this post. I've asked those same questions and I will post my answers later when I have more time...

  10. I go to two churches -- the first one I go to because I'm paid to go. I am the pianist there. Then I go from there to my church to sit with my husband for the second half of the service. I go there (my own church) because I love that church.

  11. I go to church for the whole experience. Yes, I can listen to it online, but the worship is so awesome and I look realize that I am not alone in my Christian walk and struggles.


I love to hear your thoughts!