Why Go to Church?

scot-mcknight-31Today’s guest post comes to us from Scot McKnight, a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. Scot has also authored more than fifty books and is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

Evidently Justin Bieber — somewhere, I don’t know where — said going to church makes a person no more Christian than going to Taco Bell makes you a taco. (Not as rigorous as piece of logic as it could have been, but that’s for another day.) The Rev. Mark Woods responds by listing five reasons for going to church:

  1. Church stops me from being selfish.
  2. Church expands my mind and spirit.
  3. Church anchors me in a tradition.
  4. Church makes me pay attention to God.
  5. Church is where God is most visible. Church is the test-bed, the training-ground and the shop window for a new kind of living. Most of the time, I like going to church.

Each of this is true; each of these is a benefit to the person; each of these, except the fifth, focuses on what the individual gets from going to church. His fifth opens up a different path to re-envisioning the other four (if not eliminating them).

We don’t so much “go to church” as we “participate in church.” We don’t “go to church” just on Sundays but we are church all week long in our various fellowship encounters. Church is a people in fellowship with one another under king Jesus. Too often we see “church” as a Sunday morning event. This is why we so often talk about “going to church.” We are better off saying we are “being church” with others.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyAssimilation, Ministry

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