With the stories we hear these days about corruption in the church, it’s no wonder so many people—especially Millenials—report that they seldom or never attend religious services. People everywhere are asking the question: Why should I go to church?
There’s no denying that the church as an entity in America—and in many other parts of the world—has suffered from corruption. Lord Acton, a late-nineteenth and early twentieth century historian penned the famous quote, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Church leaders are not exempt from that truth.
The #ChurchToo movement brought to light many of the horrible stories of abuse that church leaders brought upon those they were meant to protect. That there should even be such a movement breaks the heart of God.
Without undermining the importance of acknowledging and bringing to light these abuses, we want to spend time today highlighting the good things about belonging to a faith community.
What Does it Mean to Belong to a Church?
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about what it means to belong to a church? Maybe you envision only Sunday morning church attendance. Maybe you picture potluck suppers and fall festivals. Listen to the 3 1/2 minute version of this Abide meditation about what it means from Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
What Does the Church Mean to You?
Perhaps you’ve never even darkened the door of a church. Or you only go for weddings and funerals. Or perhaps you carry a lot of baggage from your past church experience. That may be why you’re asking “Why should I go to church?” Listen to this 3-minute meditation on Ephesians 3:10-11 and see if any of it resonates with you. “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Where is Jesus in the Church?
Maybe you just think you’re doing fine with God. You have no need of anything the church can give you or that God offers through a relationship with Jesus. In Revelation 3, Jesus, in a prophecy to the Apostle John, says to the church in Laodecia: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
This is not a salvation invitation. These words were to be spoken to the church. But the people there had decided they had everything they needed. Only, they had left Jesus on the outside. Maybe that’s what you’ve experienced in the church before. Where has Jesus been?
Listen to the 3 1/2 minute version of this meditation on Revelation 3:20.
Where Do You Belong?
If you are a part of a family, you belong with that family. You might not live in the same house anymore, but you visit. You get together whenever you can. If you belong to the family of God, the principle is the same. Listen to this 3 1/2 minute version of a meditation on belonging from Romans 8:11: “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
The Value of the Body of Christ
Your question may still remain: Why should I go to church? What is its value in my life? You have many reasons not to trust the church. But I invite you to listen to one more meditation on 1 Corinthians 3:16 where the Apostle Paul entreats the body of Christ to remember its duty: “Do you not know and understand that you [the church] are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells [permanently] in you [collectively and individually]?”
For further encouragement and the full-length version of each of these meditations, download the Abide app. You can receive 25% off a premium subscription with this link. Abide has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world, bringing peace through biblical meditation. A premium subscription gains you access to our entire library of more than 1500 meditations and 300+ sleep stories. Join the Abide family today.