A churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard over 3,000 sermons. But, for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time and so are the pastors.” This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
“I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”
As a child, I attended a formal church that left me counting ceiling tiles and lights in the sanctuary. By the time I was in my early teens, my family had drifted from weekly attendance and I found myself wondering Why should I go to church? It wasn’t until I experienced the new birth (what Jesus called a “spiritual birth” in John 3:3-5) that I discovered that I don’t have to go to church – I get to go to church. When I made a commitment to become a Christian – a real Christian – my desires changed. I wanted to meet with those who gathered every week to worship the Lord of heaven and earth. It was as if the “hour of worship” went by so fast that I could not believe the service was over already. I wanted to learn God’s truth and apply it to my life. The apostle Peter said that a growing Christian hungers for the Word of God in the same way a newborn hungers for milk (I Peter 2:2).
What changed? I did! I was changed by the Lord. I had new desires, new commitments, and new goals. Now I can say with King David the Psalmist, who wrote, I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord (Psalm 122:1).
Who are these people who gather every week to worship a God who proclaims peace and love, freedom and justice, repentance and salvation? Local church congregations are not and never will be perfect, because they are made up of imperfect human beings. I like the bumper sticker that says “Christians Aren’t Perfect – Just Forgiven.” You may have had a disappointing experience with a particular church in your past, but that can never be a valid excuse to give up finding a biblically healthy church family. Being a Christian has nothing to do with finding a place that simply “makes me happy.” From the earliest days, Christianity has been about a church family that comes together to learn, worship, and grow while serving each other and modeling Christ to a watching world. Our goal is to live our lives in such a way that we “make Jesus look good to an unbelieving world.” When I go to church, I find encouragement and help to do just that.
Do you have a church you can call “Home”? If not, come and experience what some of your neighbors have experienced at the corner of Black Rock Road and Rt. 113: people who love God and others. If the greatest desire of the human heart is to love and be loved, then you will only find that desire met in a church where Jesus Christ is worshiped!
[symple_box color=”gray” text_align=”left” width=”100%” float=”none”]
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. – Psalm 122:1
Article by Pastor Scott Wendal
Community Connection is an outreach magazine and blog from Valley Forge Baptist to provide relevant and uplifting articles for the families and homes of Collegeville, PA and area residents. Articles are not just from staff but from other community members who’s lives have been touched by Jesus Christ. If we have been an encouragement to you please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.