Why Go to Church?

Journal 2005

God gifts and equips us to serve others, and ideally, this would be in a church setting. But a church we once attended erected a large roadblock in the path of our prayer ministry. Though they wouldn’t support us because of their fears, triggers, and misunderstanding of inner healing prayer, we continued to show up week after week. We loved the church and prayed for the leadership, but they forbade us to use our gifts in their building.

But I ask myself: What’s the point of going to church if I cannot minister to others? To be fed from the pulpit? Internet resources are boundless, and besides, I’m mature enough to feed myself.

To hear a little music performed? There are CDs for that [or live streaming today].

To worship God in a building? Nature would serve me better.

My felt need is fellowship. That, really, is the essence of why I attend church—to be with like-minded people, to worship together in harmony, to minister to others, to love them, encourage and support them. It’s not enough to warm a pew Sunday after Sunday without interacting with people.

Meanwhile, God led us to others outside the church who were hurting. One call even came from someone in Arkansas, who wanted to connect us to a friend in Germany. God’s work would not stop.

A 2021 Update: Two things. We eventually moved to a church where the leadership supports our ministry and encourages us to use our gifts with the body. Refreshing! We have a spiritual covering at last. But second—Covid. I watched in dismay as churches divided themselves along emotional lines of masking/not masking, closing/staying open during the pandemic. The results included people changing churches, people leaving church permanently, and others becoming more tight-knit as they bonded together in unity to minister to each other. I think this year has helped us reexamine why we go to church.

Why do you attend (or not)?

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