From Rev. Anne Russ, Pastor, Agenta Presbyterian Church, North Lille Rock, Arkansas
I’ve just seen one too many articles on why people aren’t coming to church. Admittedly, there are some good reasons. But I’d like to share my top 10 reasons why you should be coming to church. Others will have different reasons and some may disagree with the ones I have listed, but here they are:
10.Coming to church doesn’t mean you have no doubts about God or faith or religion. It means you have a place you can share with people who have their own doubts.
9. Bad stuff is going to happen in your life. It just is. A church community cannot be everything to everyone in time of crisis, but when the bottom falls out of your world, it’s great to have a community to lift you back up.
8. Bad stuff is going to happen in your life, part two. The time to build a relationship with God is not when life turns ugly and you’ve run out of all other options. Attending worship regularly helps build a relationship with God and others that will give you a solid foundation when the winds blow and the storms come.
7. Not all churches are anti-something. Most of us are for people, for acceptance, for hospitality. Really, we’re out there. We just don’t get the good press.
6. Any church worth its salt has really good food on a regular basis. ^
5. Churches offer paint-by-number opportunities to serve. Many people would like to help the poor, the hungry and the homeless, but they don’t know how to get involved, how to make the time to be involved, or what they can do to really make a difference. Churches offer you ways to plug in to help those who need it most.
4. You’ve got a gift. Probably two or ten of them. Becoming involved in the ministry of a church will help you discover and use gifts you never even knew you had.
3. Not all churches are after your money. Good churches want you to have a healthy relationship with money. Sure, churches need to pay the electric bill and the pastor and the youth director, but money and church is more about you than it is about the church. It’s about our own relationship with money. World events have proven that it’s much better to put faith in God than in a bank account. Church can help you with that.
2. Taking a break from our hectic lives to come to church is accepting the gift of Sabbath. Wayne Mueller says “[Sabbath] dissolves the artificial urgency of our days, because it liberates us from the need to be finished.” We don’t take Sabbath and come to worship because we have time and have finished up everything that needs to be done. We take Sabbath because it is time to stop, and we are designed to stop, rest and reflect. Those who don’t are destined to crash and bum.
1. Jesus is really cool. Even if you don’t know if you can believe in the whole Son-of-God thing, even if you refer to the resurrection as the Zombie Jesus event and even though those of us already in church often do a lousy job of following him, come to church to get to know Jesus. The more you get to know him, the more you’ll understand why people call his way The Way.