I grew up in a large church in Memphis, TN. This church had over 700 folks in attendance most Sunday mornings. It was always an exciting time walking into the church gathering, singing and hearing the message from the Pastor. I must admit that I might have nodded off to sleep a few times in my teen years, but it was always special. Yet, those times in Sunday worship are still some of my fondest memories of church.
Something has happened in our culture. The church culture most specifically. This something is the idea that Sunday AM worship is not important anymore. Claims of wanting more authenticity and needing deeper relationship are used to justify this viewpoint. As a result many in the church no longer make regular attendance in worship important. Most who consider themselves regular attend just two times a month.
This saddens me, because it was through the Sunday morning worship that I learned to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Here are some of the ways that Sunday morning worship shaped my walk with Christ…
- Attending every Sunday (unless I was sick or out of town) taught me that following Jesus is about being consistent and not hit and miss.
- Singing with a large group of folks gave me a taste of what heaven will be like. It is not just about my worship and my walk. It’s about our worship and our walk. Jesus made this clear in the Lord’s Prayer, when he said – OUR FATHER. Following Jesus is not as much about ME as it is WE.
- Hearing messages (even the boring ones) has taught me how to study and read the Word of God for myself. Sure, I’ve gone to college and seminary. However, I really learned to study the Word by hearing my pastor walk through passages in God’s Word.
- Experiencing an invitation at the end of the sermon has taught me that God’s Word is not just something we read or hear, but God speaking and calling us to respond.
- Getting to pray and serve in that church opened my heart to surrender to God’s call to ministry. I still remember a youth Sunday where I was chairman of deacons for the day. Even though I never became a deacon, I saw that I had a place in the church.
- Giving my tithe once I started to work taught me that it all belongs to God. It is not my money – It’s his. He has just entrusted me with a small portion, so I would learn to trust Him more.
Now, I know that church doesn’t have to have a certain structure or schedule. God was good to give us freedom in that. However, we are called in Hebrews 10:25 to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.”
How regularly do you attend worship with God’s people? You will be amazed at what will happen and how much you grow, if you would just make being with God’s people a regular habit.