I wonder if there's a blog post of mine I can't find Broadway lyrics to describe. Moving on...
People underestimate the importance of community. In everything. People need people and—man, I just thought of a better showtune title for this blog post.
I've heard people say, "I don't need to go to church. I can pray or be with God anywhere." Back in college when I said I was a Christian and didn't act like it, that's what I told my über-Christian roommates. Whom I referred to as the "Christian Coalition" behind their backs. Don't worry; I've apologized.
But, see? I clearly needed church.
The point of church isn't to pray and sing and read your Bible. It's true; we can do that stuff at home. And we should. The point of going to church is to get involved in a community of believers so you can all help each other live the Christian lifestyle. You're supposed to call other believers out (lovingly) on unrecognized sin in their lives while relying on each other to help eradicate the sin from your life. Sin keeps popping up no matter what we do, so it's a continual process.
Church is also a place where you can serve—and should serve. Did you know that something like 10% of a church body does 90% of the work? Those numbers may not be exact, but they're pretty close. I know people who are doing activities at our church every. single. night. And I'll bet there are others who never set foot in the church outside of Sunday morning. They're not part of a small group, not part of a ministry of any kind. They're not using their gifts and talents to serve God.
I attend a church of over 3,000 people, and sometimes we can't get enough volunteers. One of the perks of attending such a large church is all the ministry opportunities available. One of the downsides is the ability for Joe Schmo to hide in the back pew, never talk to anyone, and only show up on Sundays. The phrase my pastor likes to use is, "Don't go to church on Sunday and live like Hell on Monday." But that's what a lot of people do because they don't have anyone who's checking up on them and holding them accountable.
So if you're reading this and you don't have a church home—meaning a church that you go to every week—get one. And if you have a church home and you're not involved in any groups there, get involved. You don't have to pick the group with the highest commitment and go all gung-ho that way. It can be a fun group, like MOPS or a choir. I'm fortunate that my church has a drama ministry I can participate in. I love it! Find a group that suits your gifts and talents. Find one that aids in the pursuit of your calling. Most importantly, find a group that puts you with like-minded individuals in the hope of making a more godly you. "As iron sharpens iron," and all that.
Are you part of your church community? Where do you serve?