This topic is doing a number on me. I’ve been away from my church home, Hope United Methodist Church, for almost 2 years. And, since becoming a Southern California resident, I’ve only visited 3 churches in that time frame. Church was a very important part of my upbringing, from the southern Baptist one I was reared in, to the ones my family visited when we relocated to Detroit; and, finally, to Hope, where I proclaimed myself a believer during adult confirmation.
The more I explore what it means to be a Christian, the more I find myself torn over the physical structure known as the church. I’m not the only one either, as Google alone pulled up over 41 million hits when I started searching for opinions on the importance of Christians in church.
The Victorious Network, an online resource for Christians, presented an article on the importance of Christians in church that highlights the Bible’s response to this question: it’s a necessity because it’s an expression of our love for God.
Through church attendance, we are able to fellowship with other Christians. The body of Christ is joined together for strength in prayer, leadership, and guidance. When we come together to worship and exalt the Lord, it’s an amazing feeling. The Holy Spirit moves through the church and gives us the loving push we need to stand on the Word. What about churches that aren’t doing right by the Lord’s will?
The physical structure of a church is just that, a physical structure. Those in attendance, however, make the church experience a positive or negative one. Perhaps that’s why there has been a resurgence of small, in-home churches. A small group grants its members more control than falling in with the numbers of a mega church. Also, small group members can create the church experience of their desires, as there’s no large governing body. Even non-denominational churches have departed from what most of know as “church” by creating unique, custom-designed experiences.
I want to belong to a church family. I want to use my talents in a positive environment. I am a member of the body of Christ already, and there’s no church greater than that, but there’s got to be something of importance to/for Christians when in attendance of a church.