Monday, September 8, 2014

How to survive in a church

I think most Christians who grew up in a church have thought about either one of these lines:
"I go to church because I need to go to church"
"I need to go to church because of my parents"
"I need to go to church to be saved"
and if you are a pk like me, maybe this line
"I go to church for the sake of going to church (because y'know, my dad is the pastor)."

The Church

And let's face it, going to church can sometimes feel tiring and also boring. You are attending church for the sake of attending it. And I admit, I have been there. The first year when we transferred to a remote church, averaging to around 10 attendees and 15 children per Sunday, I did not want to attend it anymore - add to this the fact that I was a teenager and all I wanted was to enjoy, or how I used to enjoy church by playing with other children in our past church. The danger of this was that though I was attending church, my heart was far from God. "So near and yet so far." We could say I am surviving the church by acting like how a christian should act. I could stay awake through a sermon by creating basketball game simulations in my head. I could even sleep without my head moving and wavering! Now, that's how you survive! xD
But, is "surviving the church" a goal that a christian should have?
The title "How to survive in a church" may seem like we are living in a wild jungle (church) and we strive to "survive" the church by "acting" like the people in the church. This can mean that in order to survive in the church, we need these "steps" in order for people to say that you are a Christian. The thing is, we don't need to survive, we just need to enjoy going to church. 

Here are some reasons why you NEED to enjoy church: 

1. Enjoying the church defines how you find joy by focusing on Jesus.

Instead of thinking that serving God is a "job" that you "must" do, think of it as a "privilege" that you "can" do. This mindset changes your focus to Jesus. Typically, when we think of service as a job to do, we are concerned by what others will say. "Oh, he is a good christian because he is doing this and that.. etc." One thing to help us transform our  mindset to glorifying God in our service is to ask ourselves, "Am I worshiping/serving God based on my genuine love for Him?" and if the answer to that is a NO, then probably you are just forcing yourself to serve God - Just a job for you to do.

2. Enjoying the church removes your mask (or acting).

(Related to the 1st point) When we remove our mask, our worship and service will be transformed into a real and genuine worship where we are not hindered by how people will react but by how we will glorify God in our actions. Our mask of fake Christianity is transformed into a christian-life formed by our love of God. We do not act like a christian to impress other people, or because it is expected of us, but we live our life as a christian because we love God.

3. Enjoying the church shows that you enjoy God

You enjoy the salvation He has given through Jesus Christ. This removes the stress that other people think that their "service" to God relates to their salvation. As I said in the first point, without our love for God, our worship and service is just a job for you to do (and probably with the mindset that it will affect your salvation).

"You are not saved by the quality of your faith. You are saved by the object of your faith. (Which is Christ Jesus)"
- Timothy Keller

4. Enjoying the church glorifies God

When we enjoy serving and worshiping God (in a church), God is glorified by that action. We can serve God through singing, praying, encouraging fellow Christians or helping in the ministry of the church.

"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him"
- John Piper

To summarize, to survive in the church, all you need to do is love God and enjoy God. Do not think that your worship and service is a tiring chore that you need to do in order to be saved. Jesus died to do that for you! Your worship shows that we are satisfied and thankful for the salvation and blessings he has given us.So yeah, love your church and find joy in serving Jesus.

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