Is going to church like going to the dentist?

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Some people go to church like they go to the dentist. Once or twice a year for a cleaning and a check up. Usually at Christmas and Easter. They are CEO church attendees. Christmas and Easter Only. But, sometimes they have to return to church when they have an emergency and need to have a painful cavity in their soul filled.

dentist

Others go to church like they are going to a concert. As spectators to be entertained. But they pay more for a ticket than they give to the church. God is grieved by this kind of attendance. “My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unusual gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.” Ezekiel 33:31, 32.

A lot of people go to church as if it were a restaurant. Wait to be seated. Check out the menu.  Evaluate the food and service. Tip accordingly. One time they prefer Italian, the next time Mexican. They are consumers who expect to be served well or they will not return.

A few go to church like it is a gym. To workout. To take care of me with hard work and then leave without trying to help others get into shape.

Many think that going to church like going to a Billy Graham crusade. Church is an event to bring unsaved to hear the gospel so that the big fisherman can catch the fish in the stained glass aquarium. They sincerely believe that the salvation message and altar call is what church is supposed to be. Nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to bring unsaved people to church. Rather, Jesus tells Christians to go and make disciples. Get the salt out of the saltshaker. The church should leave the building and to be light in the community, salt to our neighbors.

Is going to church like taking your kids to school? They need the training. You don’t. But, the Bible clearly says that fathers are to bring their children “up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4). Church can help to reinforce the Bible truth dads teach. Church should equip parents to set the example of Biblical values. (Ephesians 4:12) For example, older godly women are to train younger wives and moms. (Titus 2:3-5)

So, what is the Biblical reason to go to church? To learn and to teach. To serve and be served.
To worship and lead in worship. To be encouraged and to encourage. Church is where Christians gather regularly to contribute to one another’s growth in the Lord. The Bible commands us in Hebrews 10:24, 25 “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” We go to church to serve one another. When we do we that, we come away blessed, inspired, and better equipped to be salt and light, in our homes, with our friends, in the community.

But, most don’t come to church because it does require a regular, determined commitment to love God and to love one another by face-to-face connecting in fellowship. They are like the man who decided not to go to football games. Here are his reasons:
1. Every time I go, they ask me for money.
2. The people I sit by aren’t very friendly.
3. The seats are too hard and uncomfortable.
4. The coach never comes to call on me.
5. The referees make decisions I don’t agree with.
6. Some games go into overtime, and I’m late getting home.
7. My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
8. My kids need to make their own decisions about which sports to follow.

And lo, the coliseums will be very empty this fall. Where will you be? Why will you go to church?

For His glory,
Pastor Mike