With our yearly Faith-Promise Missions Conference just a few weeks around the corner I have found myself contemplating different things as I prepare for what the Lord would have for our church during the conference. Missions Conference has always been my favorite time of the year, but in all honesty, I really enjoy any special church meetings. Special meetings break up the normal routine of the normal services that we have week after week, and for some reason the change of pace and special emphasis really help my heart and mind to focus on spiritual things.
One thing that has been on my mind the past week or so has been the matter of church attendance. With a special meeting coming up it is always a concern if we will have many attend the services. The extra time, money, and prayer that are put in in preparation for a meeting like this are all with the anticipation that it will be a blessing to God’s people and that it will help them to grow – which in the long run will help our church to grow.
So without further ado – here are 4 things that happen when you go to church.
- You Encourage Your Pastor
Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of extra time, energy, and prayer go into a special service. While this is true, it should not over-shadow the amount of prayer and preparation that the pastor puts into every service throughout the year. Your pastor loves you and wants to see the Lord do great and wonderful things in the lives of his people and in the families of the church. This places a great burden on his heart to see you succeed in the Christian life. All of these things way heavy on a pastor’s heart as he is preparing throughout the week for the next church service.
Your pastor puts in so much prayer and energy into you, your family, and the church in general. Do you know the best way to be a help and encouragement to your pastor? Show up! All of the time and deliberating means nothing if you are not there. How can you expect to be blessed and encouraged by the message that the Lord has put on your pastor’s heart if you are not there to hear it? I can tell you with absolute certainty that the best way to be a blessing to your pastor, more than kind words and more than monetary gifts, is just showing up for all the church services and being involved.
- You Encourage Other Members of the Church
At Riverside Baptist we are so blessed with a church family that truly does dwell in unity. When we use the term ‘Church Family’ it truly is just that – a family! One of the greatest sources of strength and encouragement can come to your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ inside of the church.
One way in particular that you can be a blessing to others is by attending the mid-week service. The mid-week service is designed specifically to be an encouragement in the middle of the week. It is at the mid-week service that we take the time to hear the burdens of each other and specifically set aside time to pray for one another. What better way to be an encouragement to your church family than to take time out of your week to hear their needs and burdens and to pray for them!
- You Encourage Yourself
The church has two main goals to accomplish at every service – the first goal is to see souls get saved, and the second goal is to see Christians grow. It is rather obvious how the first goal is reached in a normal Sunday church service and that is the presentation of the Gospel, but how is the second goal accomplished? There are several ways that you can be encouraged when you come to church. First, you are surrounded by those who care about you! What better place to be than somewhere you know everyone has your best interest at heart. Second, the preaching of the Word of God. The Bible puts a special emphasis on the preaching of the Word of God. While it is vital, it is not enough to simply read the Bible throughout the week – your spirit needs the preaching of the Word of God. God has placed the message for the hour on the heart of your pastor knowing that it can be a help and a blessing to you – if you are only there to hear it!
- You Obey the Lord
Perhaps this should have been number one on the list. While the first three things that happen when you come to church are wonderful and vital to the Christian life, they are not the most important reason to go to church. Hebrews 10:25 says “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Attending church is simply obeying a commandment of the Lord and as Jesus said in John chapter 14 – if you love God…keep His commandments!
I hope this was an encouragement to you and that perhaps it will cause you to look at your church and your roll in it in a new manner.