Why I Go To Church
I was in a desperate situation. I’d just left a toxic relationship and moved seven hundred miles to a place I’d never seen before. In my haste to leave a man who had just threatened to kill me, I gave away my van and car, thinking I’d be able to use public transportation.
When I got to Post Falls, Idaho I discovered the bus line next to the apartment I arranged to rent had been cancelled. I was two and a half miles from town and had no car. Fortunately, I was able to walk, and thought the exercise would be good for me.
The heat that summer was horrendous
Nine days after moving into my apartment I decided to walk to the library in town. On the way home I ran out of water and started to get heat exhaustion, which is potentially deadly. I’d had it before so I knew I was in danger. That’s when I looked at a building as I walked past it, and noticed it said “coffee” right next to “chapel.” I thought it might be a Christian coffeehouse and decided iced coffee would help right about then.
I was right! I was saved — from heat exhaustion — by a young woman who fixed me a delicious mocha frappe.
Once I started to regain my senses and strength I asked the woman what the church dress code was. I didn’t have much of a wardrobe. She said, “Come as you are!”
Some people have to be on the brink of death to go into a church
I was one of those. I won’t go into my long history in this article, but keeping it short, I’ll tell you I was raised agnostic, joined a cult and was in that for thirty years, and after leaving it was an avowed non-joiner when it came to religion, for almost fifteen years. I still believed in God.
I had never been a Christian. Ever. Not at all
Still, I believed in God and as I was alone, a real stranger in a strange land, and as God had been so good to help me get out of the bad relationship and into a nice apartment, I wanted to be in a place where God was being worshiped, to thank Him for His kindness in helping me.
So the following Sunday I walked to church and while there I felt compelled to give my life to the Lord.
One of my ex-boyfriends was a Christian who believed it was wrong to go to church since he’d been asked to leave one. He never attended and didn’t want me to. I also had a set of Christian grandparents who never went to church, and I have no idea why. What would make a Christian get out of fellowship and decide to go it alone?
I realize there are sometimes interpersonal troubles
In the cult I used to belong to, if a person didn’t fit into the group, there was no other group to go to. Either you were in or you were excommunicated. But with Christianity, if you don’t fit into a church, there are usually dozens of other local churches you can attend to see if you can find one that fits your needs.
Since I became a Christian I’ve changed churches only once. I left the church I was saved in primarily because it didn’t have a women’s ministry and I wanted that in my life, but it never occurred to me to quit attending church. I get too much out of the experience.
Here are the reasons why going to church makes sense to me
- The church I go to is a small countryside church but it has amazingly friendly, happy people and a wonderful, talented praise and worship band. The music is uplifting to my soul. It is a weekly opportunity to stand in the presence of God and sing and worship with the other Christians in the congregation. It is like drinking pure water on a regular basis — I need that for my soul just like I need water to maintain the life of my body.
- The pastors have enlightening messages to share. Our pastors work hard to bring new ideas into our lives, based on the Bible. Even if the ideas aren’t new to us, they are good reminders. I’m never bored at church. I think if the sermons do seem boring, it could be time to seek out a different church. This last Sunday the pastor talked about saying “yes” to God and to whatever ministry He calls us to, and it made me think about how I could apply that idea to my life.
- I live alone and my church is almost my entire social life. I really don’t get out much, but the church provides a weekly opportunity to see people I know and love. It also provides women’s ministry meetings weekly, and women’s retreats. (They provide the same for men and for youth.)
- The church offers Christian educational opportunities. Right now I’m in a small group book study on Wednesday evenings. It is a ten-week study leading to service opportunities and closer fellowship with the small group members. We’ve been sharing our testimonies and praying for one another. This past Sunday I went to church and got hugs from some of these new friends I’d never even noticed at church before the small group book study started. What a blessing to be loved by so many!
- The church provides service opportunities. If you love to help other people, you’ll find ways to do it at church. There are plenty of jobs there, from being an usher to fixing the coffee or cleaning the premises, more helpers are always needed. I’ve noticed that some Christians are thrilled to have opportunities to help people. Before I finally got another car, there were two women who were always willing to give me rides. I don’t recall them ever saying no, even when it involved taking me to the hospital before dawn or driving me to the airport in a snowstorm. How blessed I am that I had the help of these two women during my time of great need.
- There’s a prayer ministry at church. If you need prayer, you can ask for it at the end of each service and there are people at the front of the church willing to listen to your issues and pray for you. You can even join the prayer ministry to pray for others. This is such a heart-touching way to closely connect with others in the church, and with the Lord.
So those are my reasons why I go to church.
I wonder if you have any other reasons you can share in the comments below.
This story is published in Koinonia — stories by Christians to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family and fun.