Why Go to Church?
… Ever ask yourself that question?
Like, why bother? Maybe life is full, maybe God has taken the back seat and you’re not sure if you want to give Him the metaphorical wheel. Maybe you’re just scared to be in a room with a lot of people that you don’t know. It’s been so hard to connect on the weekends, trying to navigate mask-wearing, sickness, and physical distancing … will life ever get back to normal? How can we connect with others when life seems so out of control? If you’re asking yourself the question “why go to church?” I would love to explore some of the reasons why I think going to church is still important.
We Are the Church
First, I want us to understand we don’t go to church, we are the church.
Church is more than a building. The church is a gathering of people, a group of people desiring to build lives that honour God, all for Jesus. The Bible describes the church as family – in the best sense of the word. Family is a place of belonging; a place you are needed and when you aren’t there, you are missed. This family goes beyond language, culture, and nation and is a family that reaches around the world. When we go to church, we are saying to others and ourselves that this family is important, this is the family that I belong to. I love that these days we can connect and gather online; that physical locations don’t limit us as they once did. With the use of technology, you can belong to an online church family, even if you’re not locally living close to the church’s physical building – I think that’s so cool! Church is family, that’s why it’s important. If you’re looking for family, if you’re looking for a place to belong, we would love FAC to be your home!
I don’t know about you, but I really need people in my life. I don’t want to go through life alone, especially during such difficult times. Being around other people has given me incredible supports through the challenging seasons of life, and we all know that the past few years have been incredibly challenging. Going to church is a great way to connect with other like-minded people, meet others who have a strong sense of spirituality, and find the care and support we need. If you’re looking for this, going to church would be a great place to start. However, I know that connecting can be difficult for some of us, after all, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and we’re all a little on edge. To start connecting, we must be willing to take a step towards others even if it’s a little challenging, and small steps are good too! I think we all know that relationships require time and effort, and if you’re looking to go connect with others and start building those relationships, I would encourage you to take the next step, whatever it may be. If you’re not sure what that next step is, let’s connect, I’d love to help.
It Helps Connect Us with God
Not only is it important to connect with people, going to church helps us connect with God. I’m not saying that you can’t connect with God at home, work, or wherever you may be – because you totally can. However, there’s something special about carving out time to participate in church (whether in person or online) that allows us to mentally engage with God’s Word (the Bible) in community with others. It creates intentional space for God to speak to us and to be encouraged by other Christ-followers. God is full of grace and truth, and He reaches out to the broken-hearted, the sinner, the sick, and the less fortunate. God reaches out to you and me and going to church demonstrates that knowing God is a priority to us; it shows we want to reach out to Him. Going to church isn’t the only way we connect with God, but it sure is a great way to connect with Him and other believers! Being a part of a church community helps us grow in our understanding of God and deepens our relationship with Him. God desires that you come to know Him and become like Jesus in character.
Jesus is reaching out to you; His hand is extended. Jesus invites you when you’re feeling broken, lost, and confused into a relationship with Him to make you whole. A relationship with God through Jesus brings peace, joy, wholeness, healing, and life! Jesus is reaching out to you to meet with Him, to take a step towards Him.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)
How to Find a Church
I know it’s hard to find a community to belong to and to commit to going to church. There are so many churches, so many groups of people, where do you begin? If you’re in the searching phase:
- Visit some local churches online. Visit their websites, and check out an online service. It’ll give you a good idea of the type of music, atmosphere, and Bible teaching you’ll experience.
- The next step, if you’re ready and feel comfortable, is to visit the church and get a feel for it in person. Talk to some of the volunteers, talk to a pastor, and keep learning more about the church to see if this is a family that you’d like to belong to.
I can honestly tell you it’s worth the effort to get connected into a church!
We all know how easy it is to get lost in a crowd, to feel very alone even amongst hundreds of other people. I know that walking into a building or reaching out to someone online can feel daunting, but I want you to know that I’m here for you. I’d love to help you take the next step, to be your first friend at FAC. Whether it’s coming to one of FAC’s physical campuses or joining us online, let’s connect! At First Alliance Church (FAC Calgary), we want to see everyone have a personal connection with God and a vital connection with others. I really want to hep you find a place to belong, whether it’s here at FAC or any church for that matter. We all need community, so let me help you find it through church!
If you’re ready to go to church, what’s your next step? I’d love to connect.
Cory Harasym is the Online Campus Pastor at FAC (First Alliance Church) in Calgary, AB.
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