This week at Wednesday Night Worship was our second week in the Reminders series. We switched up the order and started the night by preparing the Sack Pack meals we send out every week. We then played a round of "Ruzzle" to get their minds working. Then we sang a worship set that included "Good To Be Alive" (Jason Gray), "Yes You Have" (Leeland), "The Stand" (Hillsong United). We then watched the second episode of "Reminder Man" before I began the message.
This week's reminder was "Why We Come To Church". I asked the students to share some reasons why people in general come to church and got the following answers: socialize, worship, learn, because parents make them, etc. I then had the students close their eyes and for a moment of honesty between them and God to think about why they truly come to church. I then gave a brief background on the word "church" sharing that it comes from the Greek word ekklesia which means "the called out ones" or "an assembly". In order to understand why we come to church, we need to first look at the purpose of the church. A good place to start for us was by looking at Clearwater Baptist Church's vision statement which includes five of these areas that we looked at.
1) Evangelism- Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-20
-If we have been saved by Jesus, then we are to lead others to that same saving truth. We are not to only evangelize through church efforts, but also individually where we are daily.
2) Discipleship- Acts 2:42
-The word "disciple" means learner. The purpose in discipleship is learning about Jesus and how to follow Him. It is not enough to simply take in the information for knowledge sake, but we must also put it into practice. We must also be a daily disciple, feasting on God's Word daily. If we only are disciples at church gatherings then our relationship with Jesus is suffering.
3) Fellowship- Romans 12:10
-You must grow close together so that all other functions/purposes of the church work as necessary. Unity is necessary for the church to function properly. If fellowship is broken, the whole body suffers.
4) Worship- Ephesians 5:19-20
-There are many different ways we worship when we gather. We worship through songs, prayer, Bible reading, preaching/teaching, giving our tithes/offerings, etc. If we are saved then we should worship like it. If we cannot worship freely and pray at church then it is probably because you never do on your own outside of church.
5) Ministry- James 1:27; Hebrews 10:24-25
-We are to serve others- widows and orphans. We are also to serve and encourage each other. We all need encouragement from time to time.
Now that we have looked at the purpose of the church the question still remains- why do we come to church? We come in order to fulfill this purpose. The church is made up of a body of individual believers and we are to fulfill this purpose. We should never ask or seek solely what we can get out of coming to church but instead ask how we can serve the church.
There is one more thing we must think about. Hebrews 10:25 also mentions "not forsaking our own assembling together". The word forsake here means to abandon. It is not that you must be concerned with your church attendance for any kind of statistical standpoint, but we need to be all-in. I keep using the word wholehearted with the students about their relationship with God. You must be all-in and serving wholeheartedly the church that God has placed you at. You cannot do this if you are not there. You also cannot do this if your time is divided among multiple churches. You cannot give 100% to any church if this is your pattern, and in turn both congregations suffer as a result.
So we closed the night in a moment of prayer and I asked the students to consider again why they truly come to church. I asked them to consider if their reason(s) line up with the purpose of the church. If not then what needs to be done to change that.
Here is the second video in the "Reminder Man" series.