As we celebrate National Back to Church Sunday this coming Sunday, those that are in church are encouraged to stay in church. And those that have dropped out are encouraged to come back to church. People often say as a Christian, you don’t have to go to church. Or you hear them say don’t be religious be spiritual. But as we read in Luke 4:16, “Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was His custom.” We too as Christians and followers of Christ, should have a custom of going to church on the Sabbath.
In a previous sermon, Pastor Ralph Douglas West talks about when he was asked why people don’t go to church as much as they used to. He sheds some light on the subject based on his life and experience. He says as a baby boomer, he has lives through some of the most socio-political revolutions in America. One was “Down with the Establishment.” In many ways they became anti-institutional. He goes on to mention how their parents dragged them to church, Sunday school, BTU, BYPU, and midweek service. And as a result of this, some of his friends made the commitment that they were not only going to stop going to church but also, they were not going to force religion on their children. This caused a huge revolution where parents opted out of participating in the religious education of their children. Based on his life this could be a reason why some people are not going to church as often as they have in the past.
Often times people are more inclined to talk about the bad in the church rather than the good. They use that bad as an excuse to stop going. But have you ever experienced a bad doctor or a bad teacher? Did that stop you from going to the doctor or going to school? There are some good lawyers and bad lawyers, but if you’re in legal trouble, will you not find a lawyer? Regardless of the good or bad, if the Lord wakes you up on a Sunday morning, why not give Him praise and worship Him at church.
In this same sermon, Pastor West also shared some of the reasons why he loves the church.
- Pas loves the church because he likes being around people.
- Pas loves hearing the gospel, hearing what God can do in this corrupt world.
- The church challenges Pas to grow. His foundation didn’t come from school. It came from the church.
- Pas finds encouragement at the church. It never comes from the same direction each week.
Can you relate to some of Pastor West’s reasons for loving the church? Why do you love the church? What does the church mean to you?
Be an encouragement to someone and share your story of how the church has helped you along this journey called life. Invite them to join you at church this Sunday so they too can experience the Word of God, grow spiritually and be encouraged on their journey.
Excerpts from Pastor West’s 2017 Back to Church sermon.