One excuse people often use as to why they leave the church is, “I’m just not getting anything out of it.”
It’s almost as if they expect to be entertained or coddled, and if that’s not happening, they are no longer interested in coming to church.
But that way of thinking is purely selfish, and it is not how we are to think of church. Paul wrote,
What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. (26)
In Paul’s thinking then, when we come to church, our attitude should not be “Gimme, gimme, gimme,” and “me, me, me.” Rather our attitude should be, “What do I have to give? How can I strengthen the people in the church?”
And Paul doesn’t say that just the pastors should be doing this. Rather, he says “everyone” who comes ought to bring something to give. From the most mature Christian to the least mature, all should be thinking, “How can I bless the people I meet at church today?”
Even a young Christian can share something that they read in the Bible that week that touched them. Even a child can share a song they learned praising Jesus.
Just this week, my five year old daughter was singing a song she learned in Sunday school to someone who was feeling down, which said, “Where is God? God is here, and he’s with you wherever you go.”
So as we go to church, let us not go with a self-centered attitude of “What am I going to get from church today?”
Rather, let us look for ways to encourage and build up those we meet.
And let us consider, contemplate, and plan how to spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day of the Lord’s return drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)