January 30, 2009

Why Go to Church? - Janet Sketchley

How many times to we go to church for what we can get out of it? We want to be fed, or to be touched by God. Those are valid desires, but we may be surprised to discover that our personal quiet times with God, or our small group encounters, are the richest source of feeding and personal experience with God.

Do we gather Sunday mornings for our benefit alone? Or for God? Perhaps we come not for “me” but for “us” – us the body – to give a sacrifice of corporate worship and praise to God.

In her book, Making Sunday Special, Karen Mains suggests going to church with an expectant attitude: expecting to learn, but also expecting to be used of God to touch someone else. To be ministered to, and to be used in ministry.

We also go because God requires it. Our worship – our public declaration of His worth – is our acceptable sacrifice.

© Janet Sketchley, 2009
For devotionals, reviews and conversation, stop by Janet Sketchley's blog, God with Us: Finding Joy.


  1. Interesting thoughts, when so many of us have made church a habit and don't think so much anymore about why we go. I read a line in one book that really stuck with me; the priest suggested that God waits at the altar for us to come to him in communion. As you say, too often we think that we are there for ourselves, and not for God. So I liked the idea of Him waiting for me to come.

  2. It sort of changes the perspective when we present ourselves to God: it's about Him, not about us. I'm trying to remember to start each day this way as well as to go to church that way.

  3. Thank you for your thoughts, Joanna.

    I am always in awe of how often now I find myself speaking into someone's life through a word of encouragement, a ministry time of prayer, or just a simple hug, just because I've learned to come expecting and watching for opportunities.

    A woman told me once (I hadn't known much about her when she started coming to our little group, except that she was widowed.) She told me several years later, that because I always sought her eyes when she walked into the room in those early days, she felt that she could go on. At the time, I never realized that she was so very recently widowed.

    That so spoke to me, for she said when I deliberately sought her out with my eyes, and sometimes a hug, if I was near enough by, that she felt the courage to come into the assembly.

    How was I to know, except the Holy Spirit inside me knew what she needed.

    I stand in awe.... and great joy as I learn to come expecting to touch God, as well as those who are the apple of His eye, when we meet together on a Sunday month.



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