going to church
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Are You Going to Church for the Right Reasons?

When I went off to college and began looking for a new church, the process seemed simple.  Find a church where the worship is good and the sermon is applicable. 

I wanted to walk away feeling filled with Jesus and refreshed for my week. 

Don’t we all?

But I was operating under the lie that it is the church’s job to fill me.  I believed that if I didn’t leave feeling filled up, the church wasn’t the right fit. 

And so I searched….and searched….and searched…

I attended several churches for differing time periods and yet I never truly felt connected.

It wasn’t until I began to realize the true purpose of church that I stumbled upon a church I never guessed I’d make my home.

Here’s what I found to be true of the purpose of church.

Joining Together

When you think of a church, you think of the building, right?  The steeple, the pews and the hymnals fall under the most common definition.  However, Scripture tells us a different story.

Many times we put so much money into our buildings and amenities, but the church as God intends it is made up of the people inside the building. 

Ephesians 2:21 says, “We who believe are carefully joined together, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.”

We can spend thousands of dollars on building a comfortable sanctuary, but if there are no Christ-followers to fill it, the church crumbles.  Why?  Because the church isn’t the building, it’s the gathering of God’s people.

Before deciding what color to paint the walls, be sure to invest in those who walk through the doors.  

I’ve attended churches for weeks without ever once being approached by one of its members.  The result?  I felt lonely and unconnected. 

The purpose of church is the joining together of those who believe.  In that process, we become a holy temple for the Lord, we become His church.

[bctt tweet="The purpose of church is the joining together of those who believe." username="NicoleAKauffman"] 

Are you joining together with other believers every Sunday?

What is Worship, Anyway?

A church is a place where we can fully give our hearts to God surrounded by other believers.

It’s not about the lights, the volume and the song choices.  The worship isn’t about just the right music.

True worship is when we lay down our hearts before the Almighty God and receive our hope in His salvation alone. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love the loud, passionate, hands-raised worship sessions, but this is just one aspect of our relationship with the Lord.  Those moments of worship do not create a church.

[bctt tweet="True worship is when we lay down our hearts before the Almighty God and receive our hope in His salvation alone." username="NicoleAKauffman"]

Many times we come to those moments of worship with the purpose of feeling happier and more at peace.  But the real motivation of our approaching God in worship lies in the surrender of our hearts to God’s salvation and to His will.

Are you approaching worship as a way to fill your tank or as a way to give your heart fully to the Lord?

Serving as the Body of Christ

Finally, a church is a place where believers come together and work in harmony as the body of Christ. 

Many times in Scripture, the church is compared to the body and the many parts it takes to function.  Everyone serves as a different part of the body to create the church as God intended it to be. 

[bctt tweet="A church is a place where believers come together and work in harmony as the body of Christ." username="NicoleAKauffman"]

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 talks about each believer as a crucial part to the body of Christ.  

“You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.”  (1 Cor 12:27).

When all parts are working together in harmony, the church becomes a place where believers can grow in their faith, welcome unbelievers to explore the person of Jesus Christ and where those in need can find rest and help in times of trouble. 

One thing that I love about the church I attend now is the unity and the unparalleled service.  Whenever there is a need, there are many people there to immediately meet the need.  If one is sick, there are meals at their door and prayers and notes of encouragement sent their way. 

When all parts of the church are working together, the needs of its members can be met in godly love.

The focus on service creates an environment where the members of the church can find rest and a place to give their heart to the Lord in surrender.

It is in this service that the church becomes whole.  With each member serving as a unique part of the body, the church flourishes.

What part of the body are you serving as in your church?  Can you find a need and work to meet it?

 

I have found that it isn’t an immaculate building, powerful music or a beautifully written sermon that brings me closer to the Lord.  It is serving in a place where I am joined together with other believers who hold the same priority of living fully and completely for our Savior.

The church is a place where believers are come together to love, to worship and to serve.  Don’t believe the lie that a church must fill your tank every Sunday in order to be a good church.  Search the Scriptures and discover the true meaning of church in your walk with God and find a place where you can fully surrender your heart and will to our loving Father.

 

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going to church

16 Comments

  1. Thank you for helping others to understand what the church is really for. Yes, it meets fills us up and is a tool for our growth in faith. But it is so much more! The only thing I might add to this list is that it is a place where we not only serve each other as the body, but we serve, side-by-side, the least of these. Coming alongside each other being the hands and feet of Jesus is powerful not only for those who do not yet know Jesus, but it deepens our relationships with each other! Thanks, Nicole, for this hope-filled post and for sharing it on #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  2. This post includes important reminders of how church is a place to worship, love Christ, and serve others. I know how it feels to not be welcomed and loved. It is sad that some churches are that way especially in a time when people are hungry for the truth. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Mary. The church as God intends is a beautiful place and as Christians we must strive to love in that way.

  3. Great post, Nicole. I had gone to my home church for so many years because it was my “home” church. My heart was not there. I knew they needed change and thought I would be the one to help bring. I had to realize the church was God’s and His to rescue. Now I have a church where we are loving all the aspects of being able to truly worship as a body.

    1. That’s so great that you found a church where you can join together in worship! It is a difficult search, but such a blessing to find a home 🙂 Thank you for stopping by, Jaime! 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing this insightful post with humility and love.

    When I read the verse in Ephesians you shared, which I know I’ve read many times, it hit me entirely afresh in the context of the subject of your blog post. Wow! It couldn’t be more clear.

    Thank you for the gentle reminders of how God intends for us to view our churches and worship.

    Blessings,

    1. I’m so glad you were able to dig deeper into Scripture here, Karen! It’s really great to meet you and thank you for the encouragement 🙂

  5. Nicole, you are speaking the truth girl!
    Are you approaching worship as a way to fill your tank or as a way to give your heart fully to the Lord? <— YES and AMEN!
    Funny how a visiting pastor touched on a similar theme last Sunday in our church. Reminds me of that opening line in The Purpose Driven Life book: "It's not about you…"
    But we do forget that sometimes. Thanks so much for the reminder!

    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Heather! It is definitely something I have to remind myself of constantly! So great to meet you 🙂

  6. Just tweeted – thanks, Nicole. Our church is big and people can get lost. Not God’s plan – praying on how to make a big one feel like home. Blessings on your day and ministry.

    1. Oh yes, big churches can allow for complacency to creep in. BUT imagine the immense, loving power if all join together to worship and serve as God calls us to! Such a powerful place for God’s Spirit to enter in! Prayers for you and your church becoming a home, Sue. Thank you for stopping by today! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Lauren! It’s so great that we have the Spirit of God within us and not just in a building 🙂 Nice to meet you!

  7. Nicole – such good insights and thank you for laying it all out there! My husband and I pastor a church and we often here people say, well, I went to such and such church and I wasn’t being fed, or being filled up, the building wasn’t great, or I couldn’t worship…. You hit the nail on the head, it is about being connected, getting involved and making a choice. Thank you so much for sharing your insights today – I found you at #RaRaLinkup where we are neighbors

    1. Thanks, Debbie! I lived with that mindset for so long and it became impossible to get connected in a church. Once I started to view it differently, everything changed! Great to meet you! 🙂

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