15 Oct Why I go to church: Something every church planter should know!
A church planter should answer this question of themselves, why they go to church, the reason as a Christian. The answer as to why will determine what they invasion the church they plant is to be like for the members, what they will experience at the church gathering.
Why I go to church, I gather with other follower of Christ in order to:
Worship: Engage in worship, real passionate worship and praise of God, this includes words and actions. Worship that is a heartfelt intimate expression of love, devotion and passion for God with the body of Christ. To be in the company of like minded others who have come to worship God with passionate hearts, a body that when it worship’s it expects to encounter God, to enter into God’s presents, and to be changed as a result of the encounter, and will except nothing less. Worship that includes the freedom to rise my hands, my arms, dancing, shouts of joy, lay prostate, stand, sit how ever my spirit desires to express my love to God. I go for worship that is lead by a true worshiper of God who’s sole and only goal is to enter into the presents of God and love on Him. Someone who is there to express to God their love for Him, they sing songs straight from their heart, write new songs on the spot, cry out praises from a heart that passionately loves God, not memorized words. And they are about leading everyone to do the same thing. (The best worship gatherings I have ever been part of, some there where no bands some there was, but the best ones where the ones that had a passionate lover of God who took, lead the rest of us to the very presents of God and allowed us to sing, shout out our love and praises to God). I seek no less than a hour in worship of God. (Psa 22:2, 35:18, 40:3, 29:2, 95:6, 9:2, 21:13, 149:3, 150:4)
Prayer: Like worship in prayer I expect to encounter God, and to be changed as well as the whole church to be changed as a result of the encounter. One of the characteristics the Lord specifically says will mark His church – His house – is prayer. “My house will be called a house of prayer for all Nations.” Therefore this is a must for it to be a church according to Jesus. The heart of a church gathering is to talk with God, seeking His presents, and direction for the church, and His people. I seek a church that prays without ceasing, as part of worship, fellowship, communion, everything. (Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13, Eph 6:18, Php 4:6, Col 4:2, James 5:14-16 Jud 1:20)
Communion: Braking of the bread and partaking of the cup. When Christ said do this in remembrance of Me, He was talking about the Passover meal, the keeping of the Passover celebration meal in light of the life and death of Christ as a ongoing practice of the body of Christ. To share a meal as the body together recalling the life, death and resurrection of Christ, partaking of it whenever we gather in community in remembrance and celebration of the gospel during a meal. Therefore I desire to have a meal at the gathering of the body that includes the braking of bread with reference to the life of Christ and taking of the wine of the New Testament, all while recalling and retelling of the Gospel, what Christ has done for us and who we are in Christ. (Mat 26:26-30, Luke 22:19-20, Acts 2:42)
To Exercise myspiritual gifts: For the good of the body, and to be the recipient of the gifts of others that the body may be made compete, fully functional. Paul says when you come together as the church let each one bring something and contribute to make church happen. Paul says one of the main purpose of the church, coming together is for each person to exercise their spiritual gifts that the body/church might be complete. My primary responsibility in the body of Christ is to exercise my spiritual gifts. ( I Cor 14:26)
For Edification: That I might give encouragement, to exhort others and edify the body and might be encouraged by the others in the body. That we might mutually build up, love one another in the faith. (Acts 13:15, Heb 10:24,25, I Thess. 5:11 & 14, 2:11)
Teaching of the word: To hear verse-by-verse teaching of the word in a gospel/Christ centered way. Teaching that equips for the work of the Lord, that tells us how are we going to live together in submission to the Word. I go not only to hear the word taught from the pulpit, but to hear a word – teaching from others in the body, as well as to share a teaching the spirit has giving me to share. (Heb 4:14, Rom 10:17, II Tim 4:2, Acts 2:42)
To Give: To help meet the needs of others. To give to God the way He said to, as Jesus instructed us to in Matt 25:31-46, buy fulfilling the needs of other, taking care of the orphan, widows, poor, and any in the body that has need face to face. (Gal. 5:13, I Tim. 6:17, 18, I Cor. 12:25, Phil. 2:4, Acts 2:42-47 )
Fellowship: To be part of a community gathered around a common Lord, common faith, and common baptism, to be in the company of like-minded followers of Christ that we might engage in the things of God and the Kingdom of God. That I might fulfill all the one another’s of the bible that God calls His people to do. To engage in true heart to heart fellowship with others, celebrate with others our God and Lord Jesus. Fellowship doesn’t mean meetings it means the shared life of the community. (Acts 2:42-47, Gal 5:13, 6:2, Ehp 4:2, 4:32, 5:21, Col 3:16, I Thes 4:14, 5:11, Heb 3:13)
I go because Church is not optional; it is essential, this is why Paul said, “do not forsake the gathering together of the saints”. Fellowship, service, love, and mission with the family of God is critical to a fruit-bearing faith and life. Just as salvation also is a community project, we rely on others to persevere in our faith, to spur us on, encourage us, admonish us, teach us, disciple us, pray for us, love us, and to exhort us. But this only can happen in real biblical church, and that is one that allows me all of the above elements. And all of this said in the context that, “church is not one activity in our lives. Church isn’t a meeting you attend or a building you enter. It’s our identity, our community, our family a way of life. It’s the context for the totality of the Christian life.”
I do not go to church; to simply Go to church, I gather with others to Be the Church. Not to be entertained by great performers, see a video show or short drama. I do not go to church to be reduced to being an attendee an observer.