Why you should go to church.

I heard a discussion recently. One in which a sister asked a brother why they didn’t attend church. The person answering is a believer, but he doesn’t attend church at all. His response was terse, defensive, even close to angry.

His reasoning for not going to church?

  • His faith is strong
  • He gets nothing from it
  • He doesn’t have time

At the time, I didn’t know if or how I should respond. Reflecting now, I know that a response was necessary. I’ve had time to process the situation and his objections, I’ve dug deeply into my own heart and sought out my why.

Make a strong faith stronger.

Most of us have played tower defense style games. Games where the player starts with a small fortress and wave after wave of enemies come to destroy them. During each round players fight off the enemies with various defenses and weapons. At the end of each round players fortify their position, upgrade defenses and weapons, and prepare for the next of the never ending waves of enemies.

Like a tower defense game, we spend the week fighting off enemies. For most of us, enemies come in simple forms, like being harsh with our kids, road raging on another driver, being selfish, or just not treating people as we should. For others, enemies are much bigger, like infidelity in a marriage or struggles with addictions.

In either case, Church is when we rebuild, fortify, and upgrade our faith.

In a tower defense game, this time of rebuilding is crucial. Without it, the enemy will eventually compromise the defenses, and the tower will fall. Try playing a tower defense game in “survival” mode. In this mode, oftentimes there is no rebuild time, no time to upgrade or fortify. It’s a constant fight. I’d rather not live my life in “survival” mode.

We can only catch with open hands.

Suppose you and I decide to play a game of catch. We grab a tennis ball and head outside, ready for awesome catching action! I toss the ball, you make a fantastic one-handed catch and toss it right back. I’ve got my hands tucked firmly into my pockets so the ball hits me square in the chest and drops to the ground. “I’m not going to play anymore, this isn’t fun” I say and walk away.

It sure would be a lot more fun if I actually took my hands from my pockets and attempted to catch the ball. Sure, I might miss a few times, but as I practiced and became more accomplished, I’d make more catches, and the game of catch would be more fun.

If we aren’t prepared or willing to catch the ball that church is throwing, we’re going to miss.

Just like the game of catch above, we have to be ready to accept what is coming our way. Attending church with our hands (hearts) in our pockets isn’t going to end well. We must be ready and willing to accept what the church is providing.

Case in point: I love punk rock, I have for years. It is, my thing. Worship music, no matter how modern has never moved me. I just didn’t like it. Our church musicians are incredibly good, but the style wasn’t my thing. I had my ears in my pocket in sticking with our analogy. Recently I decided I’d give it a fair shot. I made a choice to be open to the music at church. Then, a strange thing happened. I began singing along, hearing the message and not the medium. Do I love the style of music suddenly? No. I can however receive the message and enjoy it.

Try a church, and be open to the message. Still not feeling it? Try another church and continue to be open. You’ll find the right fit for you if you persist and are ready to play catch. The important part is that you’ve got your hands out of your pockets.

We cannot afford to not have time.

We live in a hectic world, and it’s entirely possible that you simply cannot make it to church on Sunday morning. While our world is incredibly busy, it’s easier than ever before to access information. You can have church any time by listening to podcasts and watching videos of sermons from churches around the globe. Listen on the way to work, over lunch, or at home before bed.

Connecting in various ways helps. Nothing however replaces the support, the accountability, and the camaraderie to be experienced by regularly attending a physical church.

Returning to our tower defense analogy. Without taking the time to rebuild, fortify, and upgrade, our tower will fall. The bigger the upgrade, the better. Many times tower defense games include “special” defenses, weapons, or upgrades. A player gets these special items by completing quests or accomplishing certain achievements. Podcasts and videos can provide basic defense, weapons, and some upgrades. If you’re looking for the big guns, complete the quest and attend a church regularly.

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