So, does going to church service really matter?
In a roundabout way, I see this topic come up quite often. I’ve even asked myself the same question a few times. But, I always come back to a few key points that help “clear the water” on this topic. I’d like to share those with you today.
1. Church Service Is About Much More Than “Service-ey Stuff”
The first few things that come to mind when most people think of “church service” are getting out of bed early on Sunday mornings, worship music, preaching, offering and then lunch. Generally in that order. While these are all things that happen during a Sunday service they are not really what’s important.
Before you start yelling at your computer screen, give me a second to explain.
It’s my opinion all theses things can be good but they are not what keep people interested and coming back. Relationships are the secret sauce that accomplishes this.
Church services, for the beautifully broken spectacle of a paradox they are, give the opportunity to build and create relationships in the body. I don’t think they do a great job at this because much of the focus is put into aspects that are one-directional toward the body. But relationship building does happen and it’s meaningful.
There is something holy and sacred about joining together with a bunch of other Christians with the intent of finding the character of Christ in one another.
I don’t want to romanticise this, however. Church services are very much marketed and carried out in a fashion much like a concert or conference. But I believe to my core that doesn’t prevent the seeds of relationships from forming.
Which leads to my next point.
2. You Get Out Of It What You Put Into It
This can be a tough one to hear but open up those earholes because this one will determine everything else.
If you want to feel connected, if you want to have relationship with the body, you are going to have to put some feet to finding it.
When I first started coming back to Sunday services, I have to say, it was incredibly awkward. Not that anyone made it awkward, other than myself. It was just weird sitting there, going through the old familiar Sunday routines, waiting to see if anything changed.
It wasn’t until we took the steps of being intentional in meeting people and reconnecting that the awkward feelings went away. Relationship can look like a giant chasm when looking at it from the outside but it’s not until you take a leap of faith that you realize flying is much more fun.
If Church service is to ever really matter to you it will be dependent on what you put into it. It might seem like it’s not worth getting out of bed for the old ritual. But as long as it is just a ritual and not a series of relationships to you, the desire to be a part of it will never be there.
We have to be willing to do our part in building relationships but that part is worth every tiny step required to get there.
3. It’s Like Steps In An Old House
Some days are just better feeling than others and it won’t be any different with church service. Some days you will feel like you are seeing so much progress and connection that you couldn’t handle anymore. Then on other days, it might seem like you have no idea what’s going on and what your place in the church looks like.
It’s ok. These are all normal feelings.
It’s part of connecting and building relationship. I like to think of it as steps in an old house. Some feel super solid and strong then a few squeak and shimmy a bit.
Both lead you up the stairs.
As long as you keep stepping.
Don’t give up. That’s the point. It will be beautiful and messy all at the same time but it’s worth it.
It’s worth it.
The beautiful things outweigh the messy stuff by a long-shot to those who are willing to look for the beautiful.
Look for the beautiful. Look for relationship. Be intentional in reconnecting and you will begin to see how it’s not the church service that matters but what happens inside of that time that makes all the difference.