I can’t even count all the hours I’ve wasted at church. Well, they could’ve been useful, except that I didn’t listen. I didn’t think I needed to listen; all that mattered was that I went. Sometimes I would actually sing along and I would always kneel when we were supposed to. But those seemed mindless tasks for my young brain. I’m happy to say I’ve changed. The Holy Spirit is actually in me these days!
Image retrieved from here. This is River Valley Faribault Campus.
It wasn’t until last year (yes, when I was 18), that I started taking notes at church. I started to engage in the sermon, finding the relevance of the message to my life. What I’m saying is you can’t just go to church; engagement is required! We need to be not only physically present, but mentally present. Even 10:30am service still gives me the yawns, but here’s what keeps me going:
- These are words of LIFE!
No matter the message, it can always apply to us. Not only will it apply, it will prompt us to become better people, to rely on a higher power, to take action. These words are instructions for our lives. We think we have control over our lives. We think we can plan and prep and predict. Think of how simple it is to commit all we have to God and let Him tell us our next step in life. Just think: your whole life is already written, finished. Why not let Him speak your story to you?
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
2. The blessed people.
After finding the right church for you, it’s amazing how easy it is to start conversation. Grabbing coffee? Compliment the stranger next to you or ask where the creamer is. Next thing you know, you’re talking about what brings you to church and you find yourself getting involved with volunteer options and small groups and kids care. These are people everyone should be surrounded by. The people I meet at church have a true heart from God. Once you notice these genuine souls, it becomes simple to distinguish those without this essential love.
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.”
Prayer is an amazing thing! It’s letting go of all we try to control and giving it up to our higher power, God. Prayer is worshiping and thanking our Father for our good days and bad days. Prayer is healing. Prayer is how we communicate with our Father and how we create the necessary intimate relationship with Him in order to live our lives for His glory. Before the sermon, a short prayer is usually said for the church as a whole. The pastor also usually closes in prayer, and God appreciates that! You can also stay after and pray by yourself or find the pastor to pray for you. At my church (River Valley), there is a Prayer Team and a box for written prayer requests. The Prayer Team stands near the stage after service and waits for someone to tell them their prayer needs, and then they pray together.
“They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to Him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in Him.”
1 Chronicles 5:20
There are many more reasons to go to church (God says to in the Bible, your kids will grow up in the faith, you will be more encouraged throughout the week, you have reliable people, etc.), but these are my top 3. I pray that those who don’t believe would be invited, and those who go regularly would pray for our world to unite in Christ. I pray for hearts to be opened and lives to be changed, all for God!