Why do I go to church? Is it to find friends? To learn? To be fed? To serve others? Why, when I could be sleeping in, do I get up early and drive to church? What’s the purpose of church? Can anyone answer these questions? I can’t.
I think of these things every week as I get up and prepare to leave. Why am I doing this? Am I attending this church for the right reasons? The last church that I was a member at, I chose for the sole reason of making friends. I was new to that area and wanted to make friends quickly. The church had a 20s group that I thought could fill that need. And it did…for four years. Now as I live in yet another new area, I question my motivation for attending church. Am I just seeking friends? Is that an acceptable reason to choose a church? I can’t help but think that there ought to be more to it than that.
Church is comprised of a body of believers all seeking to follow Christ. It’s a community, a family even. Shouldn’t it be a place of growth through corporate worship and through acts of service? Shouldn’t I seek ways to encourage and build up the body over fulfilling my desire for friendship? What about discipleship and accountability? What role should that play in the church that I attend?
I told myself when I moved here that I wanted to attend an urban church. Instead I find myself going back again and again to a church that resides in an urban setting but is more of a suburban church. But it has the potential to provide me with the friendships that I am seeking. My fear is that I’ll continue down this road of church attendance and wind up dissatisfied because, for me, I chose the easy road. The road to friends and comfort, rather than the road that I feel drawn toward. The road to urban ministry. A road that probably won’t be comfortable and that may or may not provide me with friendships.
Why do I go to church? I long for discipleship, accountability and community. And I believe those things could be found in the church. It takes time and it takes work. Am I willing to put in the effort? Or will I settle for comfort and friendships that may never go beyond the surface?