3 Authentic Reasons You Should Brave Church

3 Authentic Reasons You Should Brave Church

This weekend is Easter, and more people will attend church than any other weekend. I know some of you are  reading this a bit anxiously.  White knuckled and bracing for a ‘preachy’ tone.  It’s not here.  I am trying to persuade you to try church, but no scare tactics or guilt involved.  I know of lot of you go to church already, but many do not.  There are a lot of good reasons not to go to church and this post is not trying to make you feel guilty or preachy, but in case you were wondering about what really happens in most Christian churches this weekend, I wanted to give you 3 authentic reasons you should brave church.

Authentic Reasons you should Brave Church
I did not attend church as a kid.   My family was too busy in education and intellectual pursuits.  We were not anti-church, we just didn’t see the need to go.  Interestingly, almost all of my family attends regularly now.  I would attribute that to we all discovered in our own unique timing, that it is important for our families. That is why I want to share with you:

3 Authentic Reasons You Should Brave Church This Week.

Authentic reason you should brave church #1 – It is culturally relevant.

We attend lots of things because it is our culture or we are visiting another culture.  If you visit a Native American tribe, you would go to a pow-wow.  We visit religious places and events when we travel.  Maybe you should “travel” down the road to a local church.  Easter is especially a good time see what local people admire and expect in their local church.  Christians celebrate Easter differently, but they all have one thing in common – the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  Whether your local church has a formal or informal environment, is large or small, they will be focused on that same event from the Bible.  The music, decorations, and spoken message will all relate to this one common event.

Authentic reason you should brave church #2 – You might meet some really nice people.

The nicest people I know will be there.  Yes, there will be some knuckleheads, but hey, we let in anybody!  I have never met a person who needed help that was connected to a church.  Despite our problems and disagreements, we help each other out.  The current small group my wife and I have only been going to for 9 months would let us stay at their house, bring us food if we lost our job, connect us with the right people to get a job, visit us at the hospital, go camping, celebrate our birthday with us, even give us money for a trip to help others in a far off place.  That is just SOME of the things that we have done in our group the last 9 months.  These groups exist in every church in America.  I know many people who went to church for a long time because they needed the fellowship.  They needed to see that people not only believed but lived their life with the virtues they learned.

Authentic reason you should brave church #3 – You might find love and grace.

Some of you know I have 2 seminary degrees.  Some of you don’t.  I don’t beat people over the head with my faith (or deep theological knowledge), but most people I know could use more love and grace.  My anthropologist friend says that we tend to over-simplify people groups.  Maybe you’ve done that with Christians.  Forget the politicians and talking heads on TV.  THAT’S NOT REAL.  Ok, some of it is real, but you will find (and probably be surprised) that most Christians don’t like many of the TV preachers as much as you.  Most of us have been compared to them.  It seems stereotyping about Christians is pretty popular these days.  I’m betting you encounter people just like you, and if not, try the next church down the street.  Somewhere you will feel at home.   My guess is you will find lots of people with more questions than answers, but willing to hang out together and even love each other.
Jennifer Garner, the actress, just revealed she started taking her children to church after thinking she would never go again.  She was the star of a recent movie, Miracles from Heaven (which I very much recommend), and it led her to reconnect.  The movie even shows her character wanting to leave church because of some of those “knuckleheads”!  As she stated in the interview, she had forgotten why she went when she was a kid.  A lot of people have.

Bonus: Authentic reason you should brave church – It’s good for relationships!

Church is still a great place to find a mate.  You have built in accountability and people who know more about the person who you might pursue or be pursued by.  Marriages can benefit from church by finding other couples/families who have the same life issues facing them.   My wife loves to go to church with our whole family.  It’s a great place to feel connected and part of an even bigger ‘family’ of people.

So, I’m sure you have seen lots of ads advertising a lot of Easter services, why not pick one?  I’m not trying to be preachy, but I’ve talked to enough of you over the years to know that many of you need community and connection that you might not be getting.  Maybe this post helped you see that church is not as scary or dangerous as we have made it. These reasons you should brave church are just a few of the great reasons to be part of a faith community.   I’ll be there, and so will millions and millions of others that are just people like you looking for hope.
Warmly (and happy Easter!),
Dr. Mike

 

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