Why “go to church”?

We can get into some bad habits for “going to church”.’ David Fitch sets out six bad reasons to “go to church”

Don’t go to church …

1. OUT OF DUTY
Spiritual disciplines are good if they are openings for God to work and shape out lives into Jesus’ life and mission.  When a discipline becomes a  duty, it becomes devoid of life.

2. IF THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN.
If you think being a Christian is what happens in this hour-hour and half  – stop going to church and ask what it means to follow Christ when you don’t go

3. TO GET MY NEEDS MET
If you think some problem in your life will be solved or some need met by “going to church” – don’t go! You’ll probably be disappointed. Sometimes needs, physical and otherwise, get met in instantaneous fashion and I heard amazing testimony to that last Sunday. More often there’s some suffering that needs to walked through in the death and resurrection of Christ.

4. TO FEEL GOOD  
If I get addicted to a certain “feeling good” worship experience – my relationship with God starts to look like just that – an addiction.

5. TO PERFORM
We can get a buzz from performing. Something subtle occurs. I can feel better about myself after doing something for God. All our service should be an offering to God out of the gifts he keeps giving.

6. TO GET SOMETHING FROM THE EXPERT
The preacher is most likely gifted to proclaim but the real spiritual formation happens in the response and the working out of that proclamation.

However, do go to church to SUBMIT TO SOMETHING 
To “go to church” is to submit to something, something bigger than me, something that demands my attention: God and what he is doing in and around me in a people and my community. When I “go to church” I submit to the proclamation of the Word, the fellowship of the Lord’s Table, and praise in sung worship. What I come away with is not more things “to do” but a redirection towards the work of the Spirit and where now I am in a better position to cooperate with God

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