Going to church as a baby was not my decision.
My parents made that decision on my behalf. I also did not have a say in what denomination I wanted to attend. For me, it was just a religious exercise every Sunday morning. Over the years and as I came into my own, I realized the need to attend a church that would help me grow spiritually.
For most adult Christians, this may have been the journey as well. Why do people go to church? This question is particularly relevant at a time like this when there is so much going on in the world and people are seeking answers.
In a survey carried out by the Pew Research Center in late 2017, it was revealed that Americans go to church for the following reasons. The percentages are based on the sample population.
• To make me a better person (68%)
• So, children will have a moral foundation (69%)
• For comfort in times of trouble/sorrow (66%)
• To become closer to God (81%)
Since this survey was carried out before the pandemic broke out, the figures will have changed dramatically at the time of writing this article. Nonetheless, the reasons provoke further questions. How does one become a better person? What is the best way to introduce faith to your kids? How does one get to the point of personal comfort through the scriptures? And finally, how does one become closer to God?
Becoming a Better Person.
Nobody is perfect. We were born into sin. But Jesus came into the world to die for our sins. Before the “death,” He lived and demonstrated a lifestyle we are meant to emulate. That aside, God had laid out the ten commandments by which we are to conduct ourselves on this side of eternity. Becoming a better person means dying to self, loving God wholeheartedly, and treating our neighbors with the utmost respect required for a healthy relationship. The path to becoming a better person is a marathon and takes a daily conscious effort to be one.
Setting a Moral Foundation for Children.
Introducing children to Christianity at an early age is a fundamental responsibility for parents. There is a proverb that says, “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). Though we bring children into the world, they are primarily God’s children put into our care.
Parents are to continually make available a loving environment and nurture them so that they are equipped to navigate the complex world without losing focus on eternity. So, yes, introducing your kids to the faith is crucial and one of the ways is to become a member of a Bible-believing church that makes children’s church a priority. With the advent of the pandemic, church gatherings are suspended, and children cannot get together and play. Thankfully, with improvements in church technology, there are Church Management Software like ChurchPad that cater to children’s church needs. If children are a priority, then churches should consider exploring the numerous tools it has to offer.
Comfort in Times of Trouble and Sorrow.
These are perilous times and Covid-19 has made people’s lives disconcerting. Ordinarily, people seek personal comfort through several ways chiefly promoted by the larger society. Often, it’s through material acquisition or just the drive to make money. For some, it is comfort food, while for others, it is binge drinking in times of sorrow.
Unfortunately, what the world has to offer is temporal and insatiable. Very few people can reach a point of contentment. For the most part, those who don’t become disillusioned, frustrated and resort to self-help through destructive behavior. Finding personal comfort in this context can be equated to finding peace, satisfaction and optimism for eternal life – that has been promised to all believers.
In order to get to this level of personal comfort, a first step is to start a personal one-on-one relationship with God. Without this foundation, all other attempts will be futile. You must forgive and love yourself. Then love others the way you love yourself. The next steps will be imbibing and nurturing the Fruit of the Spirit stated in the book of Galatians 5:22-23,
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.”
With these, there is the assurance of peace and comfort.
Becoming Closer to God.
The global pandemic has created fear and is driving people to seek answers and protection from God. The percentage of people growing close to God would have increased significantly since the above survey was taken in 2017. “Becoming” is a word that speaks to a process. It is a continuous self-act that translates one into a different state of being.
In this case, it is ongoing acts that draw one closer to God. These acts include studying and meditating on God’s words, prayers, thanksgiving, praise and worship, and so on. Also making room and time for spiritual mentorship and fellowship with other Christians is another route to getting close to God.
What is your reason for going to Church?