My apologies on not being consistent with my blog posts. My laptop has been giving me issues… but as I am but a poor, humble blogger, a new laptop is not foreseen. Unless, ya know…you purchase something from my Amazon ads…anyway! Moving on.
Today I thought I’d write about something a little different; the subject today is the church.
I want to talk a little about my church, how we often perceive church, and the importance of attending.
First my church. My parents and I have been attending a small Baptist church for over 15 years.
Our church was built on the foundation of God’s word and that theme continues. All of our decisions, wisdom, and doctrine come straight from the scriptures. Just a few weeks ago our church had our 38th-anniversary service. We still have members who have attended since the church’s founding.
We are a solid church; our church has been through the ultimate trials and tribulations. The only time we have closed our doors was last March during a statewide shutdown. We reopened in May of the same year.
It is said a church is not a building, but the people. And that is true; during the shutdown, we fellowshipped together via Zoom for Sunday School and Wednesday prayer.
When we first moved to Wisconsin, we had specifications that we wanted in a church. Certain things that we felt were the core of a church. That being a Sunday morning and evening service, plus Wednesday prayer service.
Many churches tend to bend and accommodate the world and the belief that Sundays are for a quick service late in the morning and then chill for the rest of the day.
So, we are very thankful for our three services, four if you include Sunday school.
Each service is important and serves a purpose. Sunday school is a time of teaching different ages in classes the truthful lessons from the Bible. In the adult Sunday school class, we are just finishing up a quarter of church history.
Sunday morning service emphasis is worship. Music is a big part of that worship process; we have a time before we begin singing and worshiping together, called a prelude. A solo is played either on the piano or the violin, to help the congregation get their hearts and minds on God, and just prepare ourselves for the service.
We then sing songs of worship and themed songs that go with the sermon. And then right before the message, we have a quiet time of prayer to prepare ourselves for the message.
Over the past couple of years, our pastor has been preaching on the life of Christ in the morning service.
Sunday evening is more casual and laid back. We sing a few songs and then the pastor brings the message. There is a lot of interaction at night. Sometimes we have a time of testimonies or the pastor will have questions during his message, which gives a chance for discussion.
On Wednesday nights, we have a small devotional, and the rest of the time is focused on prayer. We come together and share our praises and requests. And updated newsletters from the missionaries we support are read, along with their praises and requests. After everyone has shared, we break up into small groups to pray together.
Along with these services, we have other events that make up our church. Such as fellowship meals, Vacation Bible School, our Sunday School picnic every August, and our Men’s Pie Baking Contest. Where every September, both men and boys from our church bake pies and then we invite someone, as it is a ministry event, to come and “judge” the pies. Certificates are given for best tasting, most beautiful, most usual, and more.
Our church events are centered around one thing; fellowship. Coming together as a group of believers to fellowship. That is one of the many important areas of the church. But people often have a misconception about church.
People often treat church like a chore or an obligation. Really? Going to church, fellowshipping among fellow believers, singing songs of worship, and listening to the word of God is a chore?
I think we need to regroup and rethink what church is. And how important it is to our life.
The fellowship is not only an important part of our life but our faith as well. Coming together to support one another is an experience that allows us to learn, gain strength, and receive encouragement.
Being around other believers gives us the chance to learn and grow in our faith. It demonstrates to us why we believe and sometimes is the excellent food for our souls. When we deal with a hard-hearted world, it can become easy to fall into that hard-heartedness and question our beliefs. It’s always good to spend some time in fellowship so that we remember that God makes us strong.
Matthew 18:20 says
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them…
You can of course have wonderful moments of prayer or revelation while alone, but there’s something special about believers coming together. Whatever the size of your congregation.
Spending time with other believers can often lift us up. Coming together with others can aid in our healing process and encourage us to move forward.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another…
Coming together with other believers in worship and conversation helps to remind us that we are not alone in this world. There are believers everywhere. It’s amazing that no matter where you are in the world when you meet another believer, it’s like you suddenly feel right at home. Fellowship allows us to build those lasting relationships so we’re never by ourselves in the world. That’s why God made fellowship so important.
Coming together is a great way for each of us to grow in our faith. Reading our Bibles and praying are great ways to get closer to God.
God gives us a gift of learning and growing when we come together in fellowship, we show each other how to live as God wants us to live, and how to walk in His footsteps.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
You’ll find that the book of Acts has many of the best Bible verses about going to church. This is because it shows how the first Christians conducted their faith after Jesus left them physically. Acts 2:42 gives us the bare bones of what it means to be a church: teach the Word of God, enjoy fellowship through meals, etc., and commit yourselves to prayer.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
All of these wonderful benefits surrounding fellowship should encourage you to attend church because going to church has its own benefits.
Church connects us with God. There is something reverent about simply being inside a church. It gives us a physical space to connect and draw closer to God and to realize that there is something out there bigger than ourselves. The simple act of walking in the door brings you closer. We’re making time for God and physically allowing Him into our lives by attending a place of worship
When we attend church, we’re transported to a place of worship and peace. Church allows us to feel at peace. In the chaos of every day, do you ever long for peace and quiet?
Attending church gives us a space to pray and to express humility and gratitude. It allows us to feel at peace and gives us respite from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.
There’s something a little bit magical about music. As I have said, music is a huge part of our church. Not only do I have the privilege of playing the piano, using my gift to only give God glory through my music, but to help the congregation worship through song.
Listening to hymns can uplift us and give us messages we may not otherwise hear. It’s amazing how open our hearts can become through song, and how sometimes even the weight of the world can be lifted off our shoulders the moment that first song begins playing. We can feel joy and happiness by listening to music with a great message, then carrying that song in our hearts all week long.
Church is not for rushing in, putting your offering in the plate, nodding at a pastor’s message, and then heading for the door.
Going to church means stopping for a while. Shutting out the world and entering a sacred one.