Why do people actually go to church?* (or …its like a family)

Whenever I talk to people about why they like going to church…the reasons I usually get come down to two reasons. (*Katy’s poll is totally anecdotal)

What Church People are actually saying

1. Its a like a family/the relationships, etc.

2. for the kids (although that tends to be a baby boomer reason)

Seldom to I hear (What church people aren’t saying enough of)

1. We are actually helping people 

2. The prayer is amazing

3. I feel connected to God

4. Worship is so meaningful

5. We are actively welcoming of all people…..

Pastor Fail? Denominational Fail? Gospel Fail? Church fail? Institutional Fail?

Where is the disconnect… (PS families are great, but to me there is more to it)

Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

6 thoughts on “Why do people actually go to church?* (or …its like a family)”

  1. The “family” aspect is the part that makes me the most wistful. It makes me consider faking belief sometimes. The spiritual comfort people seem to get seem nice too.

  2. The church was meant to be a family centered around Jesus as the head and not a man, I.e., the pastor. This is a place, sometimes a home, so the setting is intimate, where we we can be ourselves, warts and all and are still loved unconditionally. The cross of Christ had 2 beams. One was vertical and that restored our relationship with God the father. The other was vertical and that restored the relationships we humans have with each other.

    The church from the history that I read was never supposed to be in a building less by one person. The church met in homes for the first 300 years of its existence. When the church is spoken of as a family, it is meant to be like blood relatives in loving caring relationships sharing everything but their wives and husbands.

    The church is to model Christ’s love by its love for one another. Jesus Himself said that this is how people would know that we were His disciples.

    The church of today looks nothing like the church as spoken of in the book of Acts. Chapters 2-4 give a description of what the church looked like.

  3. I think the family parts are wonderful….unfortunately family is often code for “those who are very similar to me”…..being welcoming of people you want in your family is great. Being welcoming of everyone as a part of your family is amazing!

    1. If by family you are actually saying a clique, then I agree with you. However, church where Jesus is actually the head is not like that. Not that it is free of problems, but it is not about cliques, i.e. us 4 and no more mentality because the focus is outward and not inward.

  4. I don’t think the family thing is bad…however, I feel like its a *start* of what church should be…maybe its that church is your “start” of family, but our job is to expand it as much as possible to include God. etc. and the most effective way of doing this is through love/worship, love and worship–and don’t forget worship and love…….

    After all, noone believes all of the Gospel all the time, thats why we have the church family to support us, our beliefs, and to help to fill out those places we don’t know/understand/believe. I think belief is much better manifested in a faithful group, than in a singular faithful person…and Karen–most people are “faking it” the trick is to find those practices that make it so you aren’t faking it all the time, and to work on those (thus discipline) 🙂

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