By Lauren Maggs.
I’m in the stage of life where, for the past few months, I have been sorely tempted to give church a miss. As a new mom, I’ve agonized over whether to wake a sleeping child from a nap in order to get to church. I’ve often thought that going might be more effort than it’s worth. However, God’s Word says to me that church it always worthwhile. Here are a few reasons why:
1. God’s Word transforms you in a way that nothing else can
As Christians seeking to be more and more like Christ, there is nothing that transforms us like the Word of God. The Bible says of itself that it is “alive and active”. (Hebrews 4:12) Going to church means that we get to hear this life-changing Word explained to us. As we hear it taught and applied to our lives, the Spirit works to make us more like Christ. Church is valuable because we get to hear the Word of God.
2. God’s providence is always at work
I’m sure we are all familiar with the experience of going to church and being struck by how relevant the sermon was to us. God knows where we are and what we will be hearing each Sunday morning at church. He knows who we will be interacting with and how the conversations with other Christians will build us up and spur us on. Whenever we feel that something that happened at church was a joyful coincidence, we are reminded of God’s providence. It was part of his divine plan for us to hear those things and speak to those people that day. Church is valuable because it is a tangible experience of God’s providence.
3. God’s people are your family
God has saved us to be part of the body of Christ – the church. We were saved to be part of his family. The Christian life was always meant to be lived in community. It is part of the great joy of being a Christian. The unity shared by Christians who have Christ in common far outweighs the unity we share with any other group of people we identify with. That is why we find that our sweetest and most uplifting friendships happen within the community of believers. Ephesians 4:4 – 6 speaks of the unity we have saying, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” This unity bonds us as true family. Church is valuable because it is an expression of our family bond with other Christians.
4. God’s community is where you use you gifts
In the church, every member plays a vital role, just like the different parts of the human body. God has gifted and equipped each Christian to serve and build up others. God has gifted and equipped you. You have a responsibility to use the gifts he has given you in every season of your life. Ephesians 4:11 – 13 reminds us of what God’s plan is: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” We are part of the maturing process for the body of believers. We use the gifts we have for that purpose when we meet together with other Christians. Church is valuable because it is where you use your gifts for the good of others.
God’s Word encourages us to “not give up the habit of meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25). God gives us this instruction because he knows how valuable time spent with other Christians is. Make church your priority. Church is always worth it!