What does church mean to you? I know that the church is not a building, but the body of Christ. However, in this post I am talking about the building. You see, I think a lot of people--even Christians--have the wrong idea about church attendance, so I want to try to clear that up a bit.
I never cease to be amazed at the immense number of people that think they are doing God a wild favor by going to church. A friend once said something like this: "I'm on my way to church. It is a forty-five minute drive. But after all God's done for me, it's the least I can do for Him." Now I'm sure she was entirely sincere about that statement; however, she was completely wrong. We shouldn't go to church to do God a wild favor; we should go to church to do ourselves a wild favor.
God wants us to go to church to grow in our relationship with him. There are three ways in which this occurs. First of all, we grow by worshiping God. In worshiping Him and seeking His face, we are drawn closer to Him. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I have grown in my relationship with Him simply through music. Not only do we speak to Him through song, be He speaks to us also.
Second of all, we grow by learning from God. Do you pray before you arrive at church? You should. Most importantly, you should ask God to move the preacher out of the way so that the only person you hear is Him. I don't want to hear a preacher; I want to hear God Himself. If you are not constantly learning from God about God, then you have failed as a Christian. Without learning about God and His plan for your life, you cannot possibly grow in your relationship with Him.
Lastly, we grow by worshiping and learning with fellow believers. Believe it or not, you do need other Christians in your life to encourage you in your walk with Him. You also need to see that you are not the only one living as you do. Without other people in my life that love the Lord Jesus Christ, I would not be where I am today.
Tomorrow is Sunday. Begin praying right now that God would do something awesome in His house tomorrow. Pray for deliverance from the evil one--that he would not take your mind off of God and His Word. Pray for your pastor--that God would speak through Him. Lastly pray that many would be saved and you would leave different than when you came in.