Take Me to Church

When I was young, I remember just hating to take a bath. For some reason, I would want to do anything else in the world than soak in the bubbly suds to get clean. I don’t know what it was, but something about me felt like a bath was a major waste of time. I disliked taking a bath so much that I’d even sit in the bathroom with the shower running to make my parents think I was getting one.

Now that I’m older and I’ve grown up, I can see just how ridiculous this line of thinking was. In my older age I rather enjoy being clean and getting a hot shower. In fact, with my muscles aching from being old, the shower is actually somewhat healing. I always feel better after getting a shower, almost like I’ve been renewed and can again take on the challenges that come to me afterward.

Some of you may be thinking, “Why is this guy talking about getting showers and whatnot on this blog,” but don’t worry, I’ll explain it to you. The reason why I mention this and why it’s so important is because the feeling I had for avoiding the suds is sometimes the same feeling I get about going to church.

Throughout the week we go through many battles. We’ve got the stress of work, some of us have the stress of kids, some have relationship stress, and we all have things that eat at our time. So many of us get in a routine of “playing Church”, where we come to church on Sunday simply because we feel it’s required of us. On the other hand, though, there are many who don’t come to church at all. 

Now, I’ve been on different sides of the fence. At one time I felt as if I didn’t NEED to come to church each Sunday to prove my love for God. So long as I did right by His word and lived a positive life I would be just fine. Many people feel this way, and I’m not here to tell you how you need to manage your time or where you need to be on any given day. I will say, however, my line of thinking has changed and it’s only been for the better.

I’ve had times where I just didn’t want to get out of bed. I’ve had times where I can think of fifteen immediate things I could do instead of going to church that would, in some way, be a better use of my time. I could think of any reason not to go, and sometimes those thoughts would win. The enemy would win. Eventually, though, I would summon all of my will and strength and not listen to those thoughts. I would look at things positively and make it through the doors of the church with an open and hungry mind. After a few times of putting the effort in and making time for God in His house, something amazing happened: I left church feeling better than I ever did before I came in.

You see, I need church. I don’t just need the building, no, I need the people. I need God. I need worship. I need fellowship. I need the word. Do you know why? Because we are empty vessels without the church. That feeling of not wanting to get out of bed, not wanting to “trouble” ourselves with making it to church each Sunday, that’s the feeling of emptiness. As Christians we crave to be fed by the word. We weren’t meant to walk this path alone and the togetherness we feel when we attend service helps renew us in a way that nothing else can.

For me, the church is a shower. The church is a place to wash the grease and grime of the week away to start the new one fresh. Just like when I step out of the shower now as an adult and the steam clears and I feel completely refreshed, going to church on Sunday gives me that same feeling spiritually. I am able to look at things in a more positive manner. I am able to give grace where it should be given without a second thought. I feel like I am a better version of myself once I attend service.

Maybe it’s a simple reminder, something said during the sermon? Maybe it’s the social interaction that makes me feel joy? Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the fact that I’m losing that empty feeling and replacing it with a fullness of fellowship, worship, and the word of God?

I don’t know about you, but like I said I need church. If you find yourself feeling down and out, washed up and withered, why don’t you give it a shot? It could be the one thing that’s missing from your puzzle of being complete.

“Do not be conformed by the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

-- Raine


Jason Barnett

Ellettsville, IN