When Christians believe that their bodies are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells within them, why go to church?
Besides, when the Bible teaches us that God is Omnipresent which means that He is not restricted by time and space and He is present everywhere- why travel? Why go anywhere to meet God when God is everywhere and when He is already here?
The first thing to understand is that whenever the Bible talks about the church, it is invariably talking about a gathering of people as opposed to a tall white building with a steeple; it is a gathering of individuals who believe that Jesus is the messiah or savior: for them personally but more precisely, for the world. Christianity is really about Divine World Governance.
So why go to church? You are the church collectively when you are in association with others who believe Jesus is exactly who He claimed to be and live like it.
The Bible goes to such extents when talking about such gatherings as to call such gatherings One Body, of which Christ is the head (Col 1, 1 Cor 12:12); Another metaphor is that of a Bride (the church/gathering) anticipating the return of her Lover or the Groom (2 Corinthians 11:2). But why make a big deal of meeting together? Can’t I just study the Bible by myself and speak to God (prayer)? You can and you must know God personally- however, it is still necessary to fellowship/ seek God in a community.
- S. Lewis in one of his talks said “like how in the various sciences you use instruments like microscopes and telescopes respectively, the instrument through which you see God is your whole self. And if a man’s self isn’t kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred – like the moon seen through a dirty telescope. That’s why horrible nations have horrible religions: they’ve been looking at God through a dirty lens.
God can show Himself as He really is only to real men. And that means not simply to men who are individually good but to men who are united together in a body, loving one another. For that is what God meant humanity to be like; like players in one band” or organs in one body if you like.
“Consequently, the one really adequate instrument for learning about God is the whole Christian Community, waiting for Him together.”
The Church gives you a spiritual family who are commanded to share your burden (Galatians 6:2), journey through life along with you in your ups and downs as a community. It is as a community that you become an ambassador of God’s Kingdome. The Church is meant to be the foretaste of Divine World Governance: reconciliation and a voice of justice to the oppressed.
Now there are no perfect churches/gatherings, simply because there are no perfect people and thus, no perfect community. But in this imperfect, struggling community of believers, you find a merciful God who empowers you and the community to work supernatural changes in our lives and through us until that glorious day when Jesus returns and God dwells once more among men like creation’s original plan.
What’s it going to be like if I go to church coming Sunday?
I can’t wait for Sunday because Church is so much fun for me. You need to find* a church you like, otherwise its going to be a pain and you’re just going to tell yourself “this is a sacrifice! Oh, look how I’m torturing myself for God sake”.
Generally, since churches learn/immitate things from each other – you can expect:
Music: the first half of the service or just the first 10 min depending on the church. Here, we sing our hearts to God.
Testimony: People from the congregation get to share from their life’s journey and Divine interventions.
Prayer: this is our chance to pray as a community called a congregation or assembly. These prayers can vary from praying for someone’s loved one who needs healing to praying for God’s guidance for a country.
Teaching: when a person appointed in advance (usually the Pastor**) talks (preaches) explaining the Scriptures and what it meant back then and what that implies today.
Giving: This is a freewill gift (usually money) that the attendees give to support the vision of the church, let’s say orphanages, hospitals or even the maintaining of the church.
Fellowship (hanging out with the church folk): this generally happens after the formal proceedings or ‘service’ is over. This is the informal part where you just talk and have fun. Some churches do this over lunch after the Sunday service, some just have tea, I know some who go bowling; it all depends on the kind of people in the church you go to and their idea of fun.
So don’t be nervous, go out there and find your church and let us know how it went. (We would also be glad to recommend a church based on where you stay if you are facing any difficulty).
*In case you don’t live in a big city, you may not have too much of an option between churches.
**Pastor just means Shepherd, He or she is appointed to serve your spiritual needs.
***The best way to choose a good church is to understand which one helps you grow spiritually and not just “which church is most entertaining”.
****Cults can pose as churches, you need to watch out for them. You can call us to verify about a church.
 C.S. Lewis, Beyond Personality. Geoffrey Bles: The Centenary Press, 52 Doughty Street, London; 1944. Pg no 18