December 14, 2020

Why Bother with Church?

Matthew 16:13-20

“I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

—  Matthew 16:18

In his book Church: Why Bother? Philip Yancey tells a story about a prostitute who had reached the end of the road. She was desperate and did not know where to turn. Someone suggested connecting with a local church. She answered, “Why would I do that? I feel bad enough about myself already. They’d only make me feel worse.”

When I asked someone once why he had given up on going to church, he said, “There’s nothing there for me.”

According to a recent survey, some 75 percent of people today are saying, “Why bother with church?”

The answer to that question is found in today’s Bible reading and is summed up in just one phrase, where Jesus says, “I will build my church.”

The church is not an ordinary organization founded by just anyone. The church is founded by Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior who is the head of the church. According to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ. Belonging to the church is a privilege not to be taken for granted.

The church is here to continue the work of Christ on earth and to build God’s kingdom. You and I need the church in order to be equipped for service, to enjoy the fellowship of other believers, and to honor our Lord through faithful worship.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your promise to build your church here on earth. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your church. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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