The concept of “church” might take on various definitions for you. In our post-modern culture, some think of church as a place where they go on Sunday to participate in an experience of Christian worship. For others, “church” might happen with fellow believers on their back porch, sharing life over a meal and recounting stories of mission through the past week. I’ll not stand in a place of authority to determine if your definition of church qualifies as valid!
What I will attempt to do today is to provide you with some compelling reasons for your family, and your children in particular, to get involved in a local place of Christian fellowship.
1. Walking with Christ is a communal experience – Throughout scripture we read the story of God’s people, and “people” is a plural concept. Though we have highly individualized the notion of our personal journey with Jesus (and, in fact, our faith is intensely personal), God intended for this to be a group activity. All the way back to Abram (Gen 12) we see that God selects a people in order to bless them, so that they might be a blessing to the world in His name. Your son or daughter can join this great venture through involvement in a church – bringing the grace of Christ to others through his or her involvement with God’s family.
2. Relationships are messy – Maybe you don’t mind if your child bypasses church because, frankly, you don’t have fond memories of it yourself. True, church friendships can wound. And church is full of wounded people! But God’s story is one of reconciliation – bringing together what was torn apart. Just as the Lord removes our sin so that we might enjoy His company, so too church allows us to experience relational healing that the world doesn’t understand. The only way to avoid this hurt-and-heal rhythm is to avoid people altogether, and that’s true inside or outside of church.
3. Wisdom is found together – I remember the questionable choices some of my peers made in high school. I would silently wonder, “Was that really a good idea?” It was at church that I found friends who would affirm out loud, “No, it was a bad idea!” Church was also a place where friends could celebrate the times we did what was right in God’s eyes.