On Sunday morning, about an hour before we head out the door to go to church, my son and I had an interesting conversation. He’s eight years old, very inquisitive, and loves going to church–thanks in large part to the incredible Sunday School teachers we have here.
Sunday mornings for us are no different that any other family trying to get four children (and two adults) out the door with some sense of sanity. But David and I found ourselves sitting on the couch (I don’t remember what we were doing), so I asked him this question:
Why do you think we go to church?
Not surprisingly, he stopped, thought, and then said, “To learn about Jesus.”
I told him quickly, “Yes, but can’t we learn about Jesus other places besides church?”
“Yes, we can.”
“So, why do you think we go to church?”
“To praise God?”
“Yes, we can go there to praise God, but we can do that anywhere, right?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
So, I asked one final time: “Why we you think we go to church?”
I must confess, I was proud of him that he didn’t say, “Because you’re the pastor and that’s your job!” But I can honestly say, we would go to a Bible-believing, Christ-exalting, missions-active church even if I were not the pastor.
But he finally shrugged his shoulders. I didn’t ask anymore because I did not want to discourage him or (even worse) leave him with the idea that church for the believer is optional.
So I told him a verse from the Bible:
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. ” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
I told him, “Son, we go there not only to be fed by the Word of God and to praise God, but we go so that we may help others be strong for Jesus in their lives as well. So church is not just for us, it’s for us to help others love Jesus with all they have.”
God established local churches as Kingdom outposts to help us be strengthened to spread God’s glory from our neighbors to the nations–and in our case, from Centennial to the corners of creation.
The local church is a Heavenly Embassy where His ambassadors may come to learn what the message of our Sovereign Commander-in-Chief would have us say–“God making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Feel free to listen to this past Sunday’s sermon on being Reconciled Reconcilers, the last part of our Gospel-Gripped Character series.