The Benefits of In-Person Church: 10 Reasons Why You Should Go
“Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” (Psa. 29:1,2)
Dear Family and Friends,
This past year’s virus precautions have given many a pause about gathering publicly. I understand that for some this has been a hard but necessary choice. But I firmly believe that for the overwhelming majority – it is time get back!
And if you’re still not sure you’re ready to give it a try? Here are ten benefits of going to in-person church:
1. Church Uniquely Unites Us with God
When we enter a house of worship, we’re instantly elevated to a state where we’re honoring God and opening ourselves to Him and trying to understand His message. Maybe that is why the Psalmist encouraged us, “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psa. 29:2).
The simple act of walking in the door brings us closer to God. We’re making time for God by allowing Him into our daily routines by attending an actual place of worship. There is just something reverent about simply being inside a church building that is unequaled anywhere else. It draws us closer to God and helps us remember that there is something out there bigger than ourselves.
2. Church Gives Us a Chance to Reflect Gratefully
By stopping our regular day-to-day life and practicing gratitude, we begin to realize just how blessed we are and how much we truly have. Even when things seem dire (a job loss, your child is sick, or a loved one passes away), in-person church helps us change our outlook.
In-person church helps us stop and look around and realize the things we do have, even when we feel lost. It encourages thankfulness as a sacrifice in the tough times, “By him therefore let us (gathering together) offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Heb. 13:15). Even if it’s hard to see the blessings at the moment, attending church can help us open our hearts and eyes to see the things we have.
3. Church Connects Us Socially
The New Testament gives Christians a lot of “one another” instructions: things that we should and enjoy as a family in Christ. “One another” is 2 words in English, but it’s only one in Greek. The word is used 100 times in 94 verses. Peter reminded us of our privilege and obligation to socialize as bothers and sisters, “Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen” (1 Peter 5:14).
Church attendance connects us socially. People need people. The old TV western The Lone Ranger was one of my favorites growing up. But even he had Tonto! Friends, there should be no able-bodied “Lone Ranger” believers holed up in some apartment with only their screens to accompany them.
As a general rule, church people are pretty friendly – at least we try. The Home Church has a variety of services, events and connection opportunities available each week. Why not come a little early or hang for a moment at Fellowship Café…be sociable. If you’re struggling to meet people or to make friends, this is the place to do it!
4. Church Helps Us Better Partner with our Family
Not everyone is on the same page as his or her spouse or children when it comes to faith. However, reports show that couples that attend church together have higher levels of happiness and satisfaction within their marriage. Families that pray together stay together. Why is that? Church reconnects us to a common point. It reinforces the higher purpose behind marriage and family, more than just dwelling in the same house.
Families who attend church together are reiterating the important foundations of the home. When you got married, you pledged to love and support each other. Jesus in Matthew 19:4-6, brought together two passages from Genesis, reinforcing the basic position on marriage found in scripture. He implicitly emphasized that a family is God-made. When you commune with God at church on Sundays, you’re reminded of your pledge and your connection is reinforced.
5. Church Allows Us to Feel Reverence
Our every-day lives can get pretty chaotic can’t they? There is a universal hunger for some peace and quiet…even reverence. The Psalmist must have had these same feelings when he expressed, “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10). When we attend in-person church (unlike online), we’re transported to a place of worship and peace.
I’m always amazed at the peaceful feeling that washes over me the moment I walk into our building, especially this new Worship Center. It’s a place of calm and a place of joy. Attending in-person church gives us a weekly reset. It demands of us to stop and pray and to express humility and gratitude to God. It allows us a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.
6. Church Provides Opportunities to Give Back
Most evangelical churches offer assistance to their communities and other areas of need around the world in a variety of ways. Here at The Home Church we have over 30 ministries of both outreach and inreach. What a joy infusing exercise it is to serve God, “Serve the Lord with gladness…” (Psa. 100:2).
In-person church offers an opportunity to invest our time and money to a meaningful cause that will outlast our time on earth. Nothing is any more satisfying than sharing God’s Grace and love with those in need. We’ve all been so blessed with so much opportunity, let’s help bring others comfort and help.
7. Church Helps Us Find Perspective in our Trials
Someone I was talking to recently was struggling because, try as he might, he couldn’t get to stable ground at work. He was juggling a heavy workload and family concerns and didn’t feel he was doing justice to either. The daily fog never seemed to clear. He remarked to me after an in-person service, “I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been struggling and found that a comment or message applied so directly to my situation that it felt like you were talking directly to me.”
There is a good reason for that. Jesus spoke about the need to get away from the crush, “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat” (Mark 6:31). Yes, “come apart” before you fall apart. In-person Church forces us for an hour or so, to step back, gain perspective and recharge our inner batteries!
8. Church Teaches Us To Let Go Of Disappointments
Life has many disappointments, frustrations and annoyances. Maybe a friend has let us down, our kids have been out of control lately, or our spouse has said or done something hurtful. Forgiveness is hard, and yet, when are finally able to let things go, it can take a huge weight off our shoulders.
There’s no better place to be reminded of the gift of forgiveness that we have already received than by going to church, hearing the word and mingling with the saints. Our hearts cannot help but be softened in the process and often I’ve noticed an uncanny joy comes, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
9. Church Fills Our Hearts with Song
There’s something remarkable about music. Listening to hymns and inspirational music can uplift us and give us messages we may not otherwise hear. It’s amazing how open our hearts can become through song. Many a time I have witnessed the weight of the world lifted off shoulders and uncalled for tears flow the moment that first song begins playing.
Through music, we feel strengthened, “The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation” (Psa. 118:14). Instruments playing and people singing are a conduit to God. We can feel joy and happiness by listening to music with a great message, then carrying that song in our hearts all week long.
10. Church is Where We Find Deeper Meaning In Our Lives
In our most frustrated and stressed-out moments it’s easy to lose sight of the greater plan and purpose that’s out there for all of us. But gathering for in-person church and seeing young and old all seeking God together helps us hold on and keep running our race, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” (Heb. 12:1,2).
The next time you’re feeling like in-person church might be more stress than it’s worth or too risky, remind yourself it’s a sign you NEED church in your life even more! There is nothing like gathering at church to carry us through the week—something we all need.
Friends, nothing beats being together in church. INperson is INcredible. See you soon!