By John W. Hanson
The view was exceptional. The food was attractive and tasty. The service was professional. The atmosphere was above average. My family had discovered a great new restaurant. We were willing to travel a good ways and pay a little extra for an amazing evening of food and fellowship. I am already planning to go back. Now, we have also been to some places that will never enjoy our return business because they lacked such qualities. But, because we know many restaurants do it right, we’ll keep eating out. The same is true of churches. Not all churches do it right, but when they do it is a tremendous treat for the human soul.
For centuries churches have been positive influences in their communities. Christians have changed and preserved their families and towns by heeding this advice: ” Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23-25 NLT) A Bible-base, Spirit-led church service can enhance our lives in many ways. Here are three ways a church service can bless your life:
Church can be a Coronation – a time when God is revered and worshipped. It can be a place where people can feel His tangible presence. The Psalmist expressed it like this: ” I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.” (Psalm 84:2 NLT) Granted, some may avoid church because it reminds them of who should be on the throne in their life. But when we are willing to let God take His place as King we are allowing Him to make us a part of His kingdom and bless us like a King blesses His children.
Church can be an Oasis – a place of refreshing and peace. When believers gather together to sing, worship and learn God’s ways they not only honor God, but God responds. It is not uncommon for true worshippers to leave healed, forgiven and energized; they leave with fresh courage and perspective. It is like a cool drink of water that hydrates the inner man. Believers go home better parents, employees and bosses. Strangers benefit. Cities are strengthened.
Church can be a Date – a chance to experience His presence and let Him speak into your life. To show up for a weekly rendezvous with God is to indicate just how much you care for Him. He invites us and our response is telling. When we eagerly seek a fresh encounter with Him, He meets us there. It is like meeting your date at the fine dining experience mentioned above; you’re not there for the pastor, the priest or the people who attend with you. It can be a weekly commitment that is the most meaningful and enriching appointment of your week.
Church can only do these things if you show up. Have you been treating Him like a King? Have you enjoyed a reprieve from your hectic world? How many dates have you shown up to lately?