Why do you go to church? I am assuming in this dark age that you still make every effort to gather with fellow believers each week. This is, after all, the Lord’s instruction given to us through the writer of Hebrews when he admonishes us to not forsake gathering together (Hebrews 10:24-25). God’s people are to meet regularly with one another to share praises, worship, and burdens.
We are the family of God (John 1:12; Galatians 3:25-26; Romans 8:16-17) and indeed the very body of Christ in this world (1 Corinthians 12:12; Romans 12:4-5; Colossians 1:24). There is great strength and encouragement to be found when we gather among others of like mind and faith. Our brothers and sisters remind us we do not fight the good fight alone.
Back to our question now: “Why do you go to church?” What I said above should be our primary motivator. Being a blessing to others while being blessed in return is a soothing balm to the trauma and injury we experience in our fallen world. I know from my personal experience in the past that when seeking a church to attend, the fellowship aspect has always been in the back of my mind. But I must confess other factors often weighed more heavily in my decision.
I’m a musician who grew up surrounded by a family of musicians against a backdrop of music of all types being constantly heard in my house. I love music and too often have been drawn to churches where the music suited my taste and preference. For more than a decade, my wife and I were blessed and cursed to attend a church where the worship band was an actual professional recording act that played music in my preferred style. It was a blessing because the music was instrumental (pun intended) in preparing our hearts for worship, but a curse because the band was so good it spoiled and ruined us from being satisfied with music anywhere else. Confessing this now, I’m truly embarrassed and ashamed at the shallowness of it all. Truth is often uncomfortable.
More than once, I become infatuated with a church because of the skill of their preacher. The content was good (at least in the beginning) but there was no doubt the presentation (performance?) was a very compelling factor in our choosing to gather there. Many people choose churches based on the programming offered to their children. A mediocre church with a vibrant kid’s program is often more appealing to parents than a wonderful church with a small offering for youth.
I know I’m not alone in what I’ve shared today because I’ve talked to so many who have chosen churches for the same reasons I have in the past. We go primarily for the music, the preacher, or the programs. While God can use all these things in mighty ways, Satan can also use them as clever ploys to cheapen our worship of God and diminish our fellowship with one another as the body of Christ. It’s time we rethought our motivation for “doing” church.
Returning once more to our question, “Why do you go to church?” I submit the driving factor should be to hear God’s Word clearly and accurately taught so we can know Him more and serve Him better. The music doesn’t matter. It’s not for you, but rather played and sung in honor and worship of our King. The polish or oratory skills of the preacher don’t matter so long as he is expositing the Word of God faithfully. God did not design the Church to be a consumer event. From the beginnings of the early church, the design was for it to be a place where believers gathered together, shared life, and learned about the incredible love and character of God. This is why we go to church.