Why do you stay here?1
My church held a congregational meeting this morning, centered around its vision for the future and the legacy we want to have as a community of believers. Such topics can be heavy for anyone, and when ingredients like budget projections and capital campaigns are added to the mix, a palpable tension may even be felt in the room.
Our pastor opened with four questions that we were encouraged to share our thoughts on.
- Why did you start attending this church?
- Why do you stay here?
- What excites you about this church?
- As we move forward, what are your hopes and dreams for our church?
These are great questions! I would challenge every church-going Christian to answer these for themselves. And if you are still seeking the right worship setting out there, I hope you can soon answer these questions with a certain joy.
You can take these questions in many directions, too. They pertain to the specific church you already attend, but I am sure much could be written of the more general thought, "Why church?" Why bother, at all? Why do we go to church? Why do we attend faithfully, week after week?
For my part, I chose to share my thoughts on the second question. This is what I said.
"Honestly, the only reason I started attending is because of the relationships I already had with people I knew here. I felt like I was coming to church to hang out with friends.
But the reason I have stayed is because I have recognized that the preaching and teaching of this church has had a monumental impact on giving me a Gospel-centered worldview. And as we all grow older, get married, have kids, look at our life, and see what's happening in the world -- the importance of this only rises. I see this as a place where we have planted a flag in the sand against a secular world that would otherwise tell us to move."
The importance of church, the components of a good worldview, fond memories of fellowship -- all worthy topics, maybe for future blog posts. Today, I was grateful for the chance to use reflections on our past in order to crystallize our direction in the future.
God is still at work in the world. Christ has given us a great commission. Are you in a place where the Spirit moves?