I’m what you call one of those “Church people”. I go to Church. Every Sunday morning my wife and I wake up and dress our three kids all under six years old and together we go to Church. I’ll admit that sometimes it gets a bit stressful trying to get our young family to Church “on time”; and honestly, we’re a few minutes late more than half of the time. Let’s be real. It’s not easy getting yourself and three kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door before 9am. But we don’t let that discourage us. We believe that going to Church is adding so much value to our lives that it’s worth the struggle.
Perhaps now is as good a time as any to add that I’m the Pastor of the Church. So let the comments begin…
“You have to say you love the Church. You get paid to say that you love the Church. You have to go to Church. It’s your job to go to Church.”
Okay. Now that you got it out of your system, can I be a bit transparent?
There are Sundays that I don’t want to go to Church.
There, I said it. You see, I’m just like you. I bet there are mornings when you would much rather turn off the alarm, roll over, and stay in bed instead of going to work. Me too! And yet when I feel like that, I actually have something greater urging me to get up and go to work. By the way, it’s not the paycheck.
And I’m not talking about the free coffee and donuts or the great music either. It’s not even sitting in the comfy seats and listening to an inspiring message (even if I’m the one doing the preaching). You see I don’t have to go to Church to be spiritually fed because I read my Bible everyday. I don’t have to go to Church to pray because the Bible says that God hears my prayers no matter where I am. Would you really like to know the reason I get out of bed and do what I do for the Church? What drives me to get up even when I don’t feel like it is what happens when a group of imperfect people just like me gets together on a Sunday morning.
I go to Church because I need the people who go to the Church in my life. I want my kids to be around Godly people and to hear about Jesus from someone other than their mom and dad. I want my wife to have friends with ladies who follow Jesus. I want, eh, I need men in my life to keep me grounded as the man God has called me to be. When the storms of life get rough, I’m desperate for people in my life to encourage me to keep my eyes on Jesus!
About one year ago I became aware of my desperate need for my Church in a brand new way. On Monday February 2, 2015 I received a call from my dad. When I answered, Dad didn’t waste words when he told me why he had called. He had cancer. And on Saturday April 11, my dad lost his battle to cancer only 69 days after he told me of his diagnosis.
If you have ever stood along side someone you love through chemo treatments, you can sympathize with my heartache. The emotional weight you carry as you hope for improvement only to be wrecked with more sickness. And the spiritual toil you endure as you pray harder than you’ve ever prayed only watch life slip away. This was a journey I could not make alone. My wife and my family drew close and we held on to one another through our grief. But I’m also grateful my Church family walked with me the whole way as well.
My Church prayed for my dad and for me. They encouraged me with words that meant so much. And when I needed it most, they were simply present for me. This is what the Church does for one another. The Bible says in Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
This is why I go to Church. This is why I love working for the Church. You don’t have to have cancer to need the Church. You don’t even have to be having a hard time to need to Church. We need the Church because that’s how God created us! The Church is community of people who encourages one another that God is in control. The Church is far from perfect. We don’t always get it right. But if given the chance, we are a people who simply love one another and we’ll do our best to be there for one another.
I am passionate about helping people find their home in the Church. It’s my hope that you already have a Church family that you love. One that teaches God’s Word and practices God’s love. But if you don’t yet, let me encourage you to visit a Church this Easter.
This year Easter is on Sunday March 27. Churches everywhere are excited to welcome lots of new guests and I’m sure you would be welcomed! Let me also encourage you to give the Church a chance for a season. You won’t know if it’s a good fit for you in one Sunday. Give it a few months and allow yourself some time to get to know a few new friends. Now is a great time to add value to your life and experience God’s blessing of community in a Church. And if you live in my area, let me invite you to join my family at our Church. We’ll definitely save a seat for you!