Different denominations of Christians have slightly different ideas and different practices, but one thing we have in common is church. Romans 12:5 says “So we are many persons. But in Christ we are one body. And each part of the body belongs to the other parts.” (NIV) Does that mean going to church makes you a Christian?
Not exactly. Being in the building of a church does not make you a Christian. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend in there. You may have heard the saying, “The church isn’t a building, it’s the people.” That saying is true, it goes back thousands of years to when the early Christians met in caves to avoid being persecuted. A church is a group of Christians who gather and worship together in a building which is also known as a church.
Why Church is Important
Do you like church? Or do you dread Sunday morning, sitting and listening to a sermon that feels never-ending? I understand where you are coming from. Sometimes church feels like it’s only for grown-ups, but it’s not. If you are a Christian, you are part of the body of Christ. Church is your home, it is where you belong. Church is relevant to our lives as believers. It’s is where Christians go for worship, teaching and community. Church is essential to a Christian’s life.
You are getting older now. You know how to tie your own shoes. You no longer order off the kid’s menu. Maybe you’re on your last year in the kid’s program or you’ve already aged out of Sunday school. Maybe you’re a big kid now and you sit with your parents in the service. The fact is that you are getting older and now you need to do some serious thinking about your faith and it starts with church.
How to Get the Most Out of Church
I remember when I aged out of Sunday school. All of a sudden I was expected to sit still and be quiet for an hour in an uncomfortable seat and my only chance of standing or getting to move was when it was time for worship. I believed in God, but I did not like church very much. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do during the sermon.
So, how should we act during church? What should we do? What you do during the service depends on your denomination but here are my quick tips on how to get the most out of church.
Participate in worship
Join in! Sing your heart out! In church, it doesn’t matter if you are a good singer, Psalm 150:6 says, “Let everything with breath praise the Lord.” (ESV) What’s important is that we are singing for God. Maybe worship makes you uncomfortable, maybe you’re shy like me and don’t want people to think you look silly. That’s not what your mind should be focused on. Worship is praising the God who loves you and values you. So sing along. Learn the songs like you memorize songs on the radio. Then, don’t just sing them at church, because the church is not the only place you can worship. Sing them to yourself as you go about your day.
Actually listen to the sermon
All right, let’s be honest here. When you’re bored at church, are you listening to the sermon? Or are you just staring straight ahead tuning it out? Proverbs 19:20 says, “Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.” (NLT) Try listening to the sermon and think about what your preacher is saying. Ask yourself questions as you listen in. When preachers give sermons, they usually have one or more main points. Can you figure out what the main point is? Have you heard a message similar to this one before? Where? How does it compare to this one? If you want to take it a step up, consider taking notes during the sermon. Write down the main points. Write down things that stick out to you that you want to remember. Write down Bible verses. Side note: If you decide to take notes in church, use a notebook. While taking notes on a phone might be convenient, it is way too easy to get distracted. You might find yourself scrolling down your Instagram feed. That’s not only distracting to yourself and people around you, it’s disrespectful. So take notes in a notebook, they don’t have to be pretty, they just have to be useful to you.
Get more involved in church
Many churches have ways to get members involved such as youth groups, Bible studies, volunteer opportunities, or worship team/choir. Hebrews 10:24 says, “[L]et us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (NLT) Part of becoming a Chrisitan is having a solid community and that can be found in your church.
Church is where you can learn about God and be supported by friends and families who share the same faith as you and are on the same journey.
We are commanded by God to go to church (Hebrews 10:24)
That is why church is so important.
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