There is much more involved to attending church than just showing up if we want to get the most out of our church experience and be able to personally give our best to the church we go to. It requires that we approach our time at church correctly. One essential way we need to do this is to go with a spirit of anticipation and not evaluation. To learn more about this, check out Part 1 of “How to Attend Church?”
In this post, I want to share a second way we need to align our minds before we walk through the doors of the church and it’s this:
We need to go to church seeking to be equipped and not just entertained.
Now don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being entertained at church. In fact, I think it’s tragic for a person’s experience at church to be boring. If someone is singing at a worship service and the dogs in the neighborhood begin to howl, that’s just wrong. If the pastor’s speaking causes drowsiness more than the most powerful, over-the counter, sleep aid, it’s tragic. If kids go to church and they wonder why mommy and daddy are punishing them, well, you get the point.
Church should never be boring and that’s because God is amazing! He created the universe with all of its beauty, creativity and diversity. He works in ways that we don’t always expect and it’s always for our benefit. Not only that, but look at what it says in the book of Ephesians.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21
God is also able to bring far more good into our lives than we will often ask for or could have even imagined. So God is anything but boring. Therefore, church shouldn’t be boring, and especially so since it is one of the primary ways through which God seeks to be at work in our lives and bless us.
It should be exciting to go to church. Church should be so good that kids beg their parents to take them and parents are racing their kids to get to the car so they arrive on time. We should look forward to going to church and not want to miss it. Church should be engaging and, yes, entertaining. Being entertained, though, is not to be an end in itself or even the primary reason we go. At church, we are to seek to be equipped. We are to go to receive what we need in order to do what we are meant to do.
What needs to happen for some of you is to go to hear what you need so you can place your faith in Jesus. As it says in the book of Romans, “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” – Romans 10:17
At church, you need to be listening, asking questions, and seeking out whatever is necessary so that you can make an informed and genuine decision to follow Jesus.
What’s awesome is that there is more than enough evidence to prove Jesus is the Son of God in whom you need to place your trust. All you need to do is to seek it out and you will be forever thankful that you did!
What needs to happen for those of us who have already decided to follow Jesus, is to go to church to receive what we need in order to go out into the world and do what God has in store for us. Going back to the book of Ephesians, check this out.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10
God already has in mind good works that He wants us to carry out. All of us have purposes that we are meant to fulfill. We have important missions assigned to us to bring good into this world and going to church is meant to help us identify them and be ready to do them. How cool is that? I don’t know about you but I think it’s awesome!
Going to church involves discovery. It involves the Creator of the universe being at work within us to bring about good for us and through us. Attending church is to be more than just a weekly, one-time, isolated event that amuses us. It is to be a launching pad to becoming more of who we are meant to be, do what we are meant to do, and experience all God intends, throughout the rest of the week.
So I want to encourage all of us to go to church seeking to be equipped no matter where we may be on our spiritual journey, and if we are entertained in the process, thank God that the church you are attending cares enough to honor God in that way!