This past Sunday, I contemplated skipping church and working on the mountain of homework that I had. Ultimately, I ended up going to church when I realized that I wanted to skip church to serve my own kingdom rather than the kingdom of God. Leah wanted to be Master instead of Jesus.
Still, this temptation caused me to meditate on the benefits of serving in a church. Apart from the ultimate reason why I decided to go to church last Sunday, there were a few others as well.
First, I teach the youth on Sunday nights at my church. I might be asked by one of them, “Why weren’t you here this morning?” The only response I could give would be that I had a lot of homework, which really is not a good excuse for skipping church.
Additionally, I imagined all of the phone calls that I would receive Sunday afternoon, asking why I was not in church. In other words, one benefit of serving the church is that it provides accountability for one to actually attend church.
Whether you want to set a good example for the youth or because you are known by the regular church attendees, this accountability can stimulate you to get out of bed when you don’t want to go to church after a late night or a huge pile of homework.
Another benefit of serving in a church is the relationships that one forms with the body of Christ. The words “brother-in-Christ” and “sister-in-Christ” come to life when one devotes oneself to being involved in a church. At my church, I have a second mom and dad who welcome me to stay with them whenever. Last Thanksgiving, I also had an enormous, scrumptious meal with another family from my church, and they gave me tons of leftovers. Turkey for days.
A third benefit I have experienced in serving the church is that it takes the focus off of myself and puts the focus on others. Last fall, God was telling me, “I want you to attend church on Wednesday nights and help out with the youth.” How was I to add that into an already packed schedule? That would be about three hours of time I could have spent working on homework instead. Yet, I obeyed … grudgingly.
Soon, however, I experienced the blessings that came with obedience. God opened my eyes to a lot of the things that teens face, and it helped me to take the focus off of myself and all my homework stress and put my focus on others and on praying for them.
An overall benefit that is probably a combination of all of the others is that one does not have to constantly be looking for a new church to go to. Has anyone ever been a regular attendee of a specific church and then invited you to come along? You go for a few years and then the person who invited you decides to go to a different church.
I recently found myself in such a position, and I had to decide if I was going to continue to go to that church or not.
Aside from the fact that I realized I shouldn’t be going to a church because the Jones’ go there, it was the community that I found at my current church that encouraged me to stay. How could I just up and leave the relationships that I had formed there? Serving a church can also help one practice commitment when it seems that the pastor has a sermon once in a blue moon that looks more like eisegesis instead of exegesis, but that is still “orthodox.”
With all of these benefits (and more), who wouldn’t want to serve in a church?