I was teaching a class last night, I was just filling in and the group is doing a verse by verse study of the Gospel of Mark. I was privileged to share from Mark 10:35-45 and as I was closing the lesson out the words of Jesus in Verse 45 really struck me.
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (NIV)
So I asked those in attendance this question that I am asking you. Why do you go to church? The answers while not wrong in any way left me wondering about if maybe we missed something in the lesson Jesus is teaching in this passage of scripture.
You see James and John have asked that they receive the thrones that have been promised to them in Matthew 19:28:
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
The others only get mad because they did not think of it first. However, Jesus sees the real issue that underlies the jealousy that is being shown. It is a wrongly motivated desire to have those positions of authority. The culture would dictate that those who were seated nearest the leader were the next in line to lead should something happen.
Jesus takes this opportunity like many others to teach them a little bit about the Kingdom of God. Once again he explains that for them to lead the must first follow for them to rule they must be servants. Somewhere over the years I believe we have lost this principle in our Christian walks and especially in our churches.
So why does one go to church? If we understand the teachings of Jesus it is not because that is what we do, or because it’s the only place we can experience God. Because those answers no longer work in the world we live in. They did not work in His time either. If you are going to church because you like the music, or the pastor is funny or you like to hear him speak or a thousand other reasons that I have heard over the years than I want to challenge your position.
Church attendance should be about discipleship. If you are not attending so that you can become more like Christ than you are wasting your time. You see the model Jesus taught us is simple. You first take a group of people and work closely with them for a period of time teaching them about God. You spend time with them to the point that life is a shared experience taking meals and traveling together. Along the way those in authority begin to delegate authority to the others and they go out and do the things they have been shown. If they have understood what you have taught, they will teach others what they have learned. Thus you have effectively become a disciple of Christ. Somewhere along the line we stopped sending people out and today we have a learning environment that has no real application in the world we live in.
The challenge today, when do we begin the sending part. Most people sitting on the pew are well versed in scripture they understand the trinity and can discuss end times revelations like a seminary professor. However, those same individuals have never shared the Gospel that brings hope and life with a single soul. Why has this happened? I believe it all begins with the question; “Why do you go to church?” If your answer does not include so you can become a disciple of Christ and servant to others than we have missed the purpose that God intended when he created the church. Beginning today we can make a change that has immediate and eternal consequences for both us and the world around us if we only recognize, why we go to church. Be Blessed as you walk in the light of God's Word.