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Why Are You Coming to Church?

posted Apr 22, 2013, 2:40 PM by Uumc Topeka

There are lots of reasons why people come to church and engage in church activities.

Family.  For those who have been coming to church for years, a sense of family is often the main reason why they keep coming. They have grown up with other church members, they have weathered tough times together, they have celebrated weddings, anniversaries, births, and helped each other through times of dying, death, and grief.  Human relationships provide us with a very strong glue. For newcomers to feel welcome in a church that sees itself primarily as a “family,” however, is often problematic. They don’t have the history that everyone else does. They don’t know the stories. They aren’t privy to the quirks, the secrets, the sacred cows, the difficult personalities, or the internal problems that others have learned how to avoid and work around, or perhaps, no longer even see.

Mission.  As our churches have dwindled in membership and monies over the past several years we are asking ourselves how we can reverse that trend. Some say that it is mission that will guide the turn-around. People want to be involved in helping others and contributing to worthwhile causes. So making mission a central part of the work the church is engaged in can be very attractive to long-time church members as well as the outlying community.

Fellowship.  Fellowship is a wonderful way of inviting others to play together. Fellowship can grow through mission projects. It can also be nurtured through community barbeques, street parties, movie nights, bowling, and so forth. All of these are pleasant ways of strengthening already existing relationships as well as inviting and attracting others.  

Using our Gifts. People feel validated when their gifts make a contribution to the greater whole – especially when they are thanked and appreciated for it! So coming to church because we are able to sing in the choir, help with the accounting, lead a youth group, organize a landscaping project or any number of other activities that invites us to use our interests and gifts is also something that may keep us coming back.

But where is God?  The one thing that church can offer that no other group can, is God.

If we are not coming to church PRIMARILY to worship God, to deepen our spiritual relationship with the Holy Trinity, to discern and explore and act on God’s will for our individual and collective lives, to offer Jesus Christ to others, we are missing the mark as a church. The sense of family, fellowship, mission, using our gifts, and anything else that we engage in as a church needs to grow out of the centrality that God has in our lives. 

“Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength….”

Why are you coming to church?