Christian Living

Is Going to Church a Spiritual Discipline?

Two weeks ago I wrote that a spiritual discipline is something we do to draw closer to God or to honor him. To be of value we need to do this willingly with joy and in anticipation.

I gave 17 possible disciplines to consider. Going to church wasn’t on the list.

Should going to church be included as a spiritual discipline? Reflect on three spiritual disciplines that touch on the practice of church attendance:

1. Community

This is simply spending time with other people who follow Jesus in order to form meaningful spiritual connections. This can happen at church on Sundays; at least it should.

Yet at too many churches community doesn’t happen at all, and for other churches the community is superficial. Plus true community can happen at times other than Sunday morning. And that community is often richer.

2. Sabbath

We treat one day a week differently than the other six. I’ve been looking at the Old Testament Law about the Sabbath.

I keep reading that it’s a day of rest. I also see that we are to keep it holy, but so far I’ve not read that we are supposed to go to church on the Sabbath.

Besides sometimes we pack our Sabbaths so full with well-meaning spiritual activity that we end the day exhausted, not rested. I doubt this pleases God.

3. Worship

A third spiritual discipline that could relate to Sunday morning church attendance is worship.

Yes, we can worship God at church on Sunday mornings; we should worship him there. But we can also worship him on other days, at other times, and in other places.

I go to church on Sundays in expectation of community, and sometimes I worship God while I’m there, but I don’t find it restful.

I do go in hopes of drawing closer to God and to honor him, so I meet the first two parts of this being a church discipline, but the willingness factor is often missing, while the attitudes of joy and anticipation are things I must strive to conjure up.

I pray for all three of these mindsets each Sunday morning.

I suppose that going to church on Sunday mornings emerges as a spiritual discipline for some people. That might explain why I attend, but as spiritual disciplines go, I do a poor job at it.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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2 replies on “Is Going to Church a Spiritual Discipline?”

A church that is Christ centered and Holy Spirit led is a great spiritual uplift. Such joy?, then there are churches that are strictly programmed, by time clock, congregations put limits to how services should be carried out, becoming social gatherings, an eating place, raffles, garage sales, fishing tournaments, GOLF, etc.On Sunday evening their monthly business meeting?, most people have these functions any way, why repeat at church, the house of prayer/God? Maybe it brings togetherness, for some, I grew up in a church where God was there to meet the needs of hurting people, salvation #1, healing, deliverance, always a place of ministry 24/7. those were the most spiritual, being that hand extended, touching Jesus was all that mattered for all involved, and how that church was known by it being Christ centered. I could write a book from the mighty works of God, in several churches that the Holy Spirit was like a magnet where people heard the move of God and come to see and partake! That was spiritual, joyous to see a life redeemed, sick bodies restored, alcoholics/ drug addicts delivered, and so many other mighty miracles, because the people were concerned and wanted a real relationship with our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, there’s just something about that name ????? A church like that brings such life, you can’t wait for the doors to open, cars would be in parking lot waiting for opening. My answer to question: It Is LIFE in His presence, always being disciplined,the righteousness of God??

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