Christ / Church / Culture / March 8, 2007

Need Some Motivation to Go to Church? Don’t Look Here

Many American Christians struggle with going to church. Need a little motivation? Here is a telling attempt at offering some.

This post provides a perfect window into the misunderstanding that most Americans have of the local church. Most disheartening was the final motivator for church attendance:

Rationalize the time — I gained some motivation to attend church by comparing the amount of time the church-going process takes to the length of the entire week. My church service (including travel time) is only 1.5 hours total and that is only .89% of the week (168 hours/week). I also rationalize the length of the church service as half of a movie, three sitcoms, less than two episodes of Prison Break, etc. whatever works for you.

The whole post reminded me of the classic video ‘Me Church’:

The way to motivate yourself towards church is not through simply changing your perspective of your relationship to the local church but through changing your perspective of the local church itself. The church is not just a spiritualized version of the Lion’s Club. Nor is it your weekly pit stop to refuel your emotional and spiritual tank.

The local church is an outpost of the Kingdom of Christ intended to display the presence of the Kingdom here on earth while destroying the kingdom of darkness until Christ returns.

The reason so many struggle to be excited and engaged in their local church is because they have an anemic understanding of the purpose of the church. They have been captivated by our consumer culture which has wooed them into seeking the best return on the investment for their Sunday morning loyalty.

How do you motivate yourself for church? Not by getting an accountability partner. Not by recalling that going to church takes only half the time of watching American Idol. True motivation towards the local church will only come through a right understanding of its function. A changed perspective of the church will lead to a changed lifestyle towards the church.

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