• Jack Selcher

What Church Is Really About

The Pew Research Center determined the following top ten reasons Americans attend church services1:

1. To become closer to God (81%)

2. To give their children a moral foundation (69%)

3. To become a better person (68%)

4. For comfort in trouble or sorrow (66%)

5. For helpful sermons (59%)

6. To be part of a faith community (57%)

7. To continue a family tradition (37%)

8. A sense of obligation (31%)

9. To meet new people or socialize (19%)

10. To please their family, spouse or partner (16%)

To paraphrase these reasons, attending church helps people feel closer to God. It instructs their children in morality. It makes them better people. It enables them to deal with adversity. It helps them deal with life issues. It makes them feel included. It helps them continue family tradition. It increases their social network. It keeps significant others off their backs. Most of these are different ways of saying, “I go because the ministries of my church meet my needs.”

The better the local church meets the needs of those who attend, the more enthusiastic they are about it. Churches should meet the needs of those who attend. That is what love does. Assembling with other believers is important (Hebrews 10:24-25). But meeting together is not an end in itself. It’s part of a larger purpose. The goal is not the long-time survival of individual local churches all around the world. The goal is the long-term survival and expansion of the gospel.

The church is God’s vehicle to pass the Christian faith intact from one generation to the next. That includes what to believe and teach (1 Timothy 2:2). It also involves how to live (Philippians 4:9). The church is to equip Jesus’ followers to conform to His will and ways generation after generation. Local churches that do that tend to grow. But numerical growth is not the goal.

Imagine God’s will and ways are a baton. The measure of a church is how effectively its members receive that baton (conform to God’s will and ways) and pass that baton to the next generation without dropping it. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources #church

1. https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/09/us/pew-church-10-reasons/index.html

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