Going to Church is a personal decision that various factors can influence. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself: why do you go to Church?
You must know if your beliefs and values align with your habit of going to Church.
This article will dive deep into why people attend Church and the negative side of going for the wrong reasons. We’ll also explore how you can discover your motivations for attending Church.
Why do you go to church? A personal experience
A specific experience in life prompted me to write this article.
It was an open forum for a particular event for the youth and being one of the young people in the circle, I got to ask this question.
Why do you guys go to Church? What are your reasons for coming back at least once a week over these years?
Sadly, the youth pastor thought my question was not worth listening to, and I got reprimanded for asking.
The importance of questioning why we go to Church
This is not to doubt your faith or belief but to ensure that you are not blindly following something that you genuinely do not care about.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Test everything; hold fast what is good.”
This verse encourages you to test if what you believe is good and to hold on to what is true and correct.
This verse also encourages you not to hold on to something without knowing why.
Asking why you go to Church is essential for several reasons. Some key benefits of asking why you go to Church include the following:
1. Understanding your motivations.
Knowing why you go to Church can help you understand your causes for attending Church.
Make sure you are getting the best out of the experience.
Proverbs 20:5 “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
This verse highlights the importance of understanding one’s motivations and intentions. It suggests that one’s true motivations can be difficult to discern, but a person of understanding can uncover them.
You should be self-aware, ask about your intentions and understand your motivations.
2. Enhancing your spiritual experience
By understanding your motivations for attending Church, you can also ensure that your spiritual background is more meaningful and fulfilling.
3. Developing your faith
It’s good to reflect on your faith and spiritual journey. Consider how church attendance fits into your beliefs and understanding of the world.
4. Making informed decisions
Questioning why you go to Church can also help you to make informed decisions about your church attendance. Suppose you are going to Church for the wrong reasons. In that case, it may be beneficial to consider other ways to connect with your faith or spirituality.
5. Identifying misconceptions or misunderstandings
Learn how the Church fits into your life and why you engage in such activity. What are the misconceptions or misunderstandings of the Church’s role in your life?
How can you have a better experience?
Common reasons why people go to Church from 5 Interesting Surveys
There are a variety of statistics available on why people go to Church.
Some examples include:
- According to a 2019 survey by the Pew Research Center, the most common reason people give for attending Church is “to feel closer to God or to experience a sense of spiritual connection.”
- Becoming closer to God (89%),
- Connecting with other believers (85%),
- Finding strength in challenging times (78%),
- A sense of community (68%),
- Participating in religious rituals and ceremonies (58%),
- Expressing beliefs and values publicly (56%)
- Setting an example for their children or family members (54%)
- Helping those in need (51%)
- A 2020 survey by Gallup found that the second most common reason people give for attending Church is “to become a better person and live a more meaningful life.”
- A 2018 survey by the Barna Group found that the third most common reason people give for attending Church is “to find community and connect with other believers.”
- A 2017 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute found that among American adults who say they attend religious services regularly, 55% say they go to gain a sense of spiritual connection, 50% go to feel part of a community, and 36% say they go to learn more about their faith.
- A survey by the National Congregations Study in 2012 revealed that 30% of the adults who attend religious services weekly go for the sense of community and belonging, 25% for the sense of tradition, and 20% for the sense of personal growth.
It’s worth noting that these statistics are based on self-reported data and may not necessarily reflect the true motivations of all attending Church.
Additionally, it’s also important to note that the reasons why people go to Church can be complex and multi-dimensional and may change over time.
The negative side of going to Church for the wrong reasons
Going to Church out of obligation or social pressure
Going to Church out of obligation or social anxiety can be detrimental to your spiritual growth and personal beliefs.
It can lead to a lack of genuine engagement and understanding of the religion and cause you to question your faith or lose interest in it altogether.
Additionally, it can lead to feelings of hypocrisy and insincerity, which can be detrimental to your moral and ethical development.
You need to engage with your faith in a way that feels authentic and meaningful rather than feeling forced or pressured.
Going to Church for the wrong reasons can lead to a lack of fulfillment or dissatisfaction.
Going to Church for the wrong reasons can mean you may not fully engage in the church experience and not get the most out of it. This can lead to a lack of fulfillment and dissatisfaction.
For example, you go to Church because your parents want you to, but you don’t believe in it or find it meaningful. You may feel dissatisfied or fulfilled by the experience.
This is different for children, which we will not discuss in this article. This is for people who are capable of making their own decisions.
You might feel bored, disinterested, or disconnected from the service, the message, and the community.
Going to Church to please others or to follow a particular social norm rather than for your beliefs and values can also lead to a feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction, as it might not align with your inner self.
Additionally, going to Church for the wrong reasons can negatively impact your faith and spirituality.
Suppose you are not fully engaged in the church experience. In that case, it can be challenging to connect with your religion and spirituality and to gain insight from the teachings and messages shared during the service.
In summary, going to Church for the wrong reasons can lead to a lack of fulfillment and dissatisfaction. It may not align with your personal beliefs and values or provide the spiritual nourishment and fulfillment you seek.
The impact on personal faith and spirituality
Going to Church because you feel you have to when you do not believe in the teachings or practices of the Church.
You will find it hard to engage in the service, understand the message, and join church activities altogether.
This can lead to a disconnection from their faith, making it difficult for them to develop and maintain their spiritual beliefs.
Additionally, when an individual is not engaged in the church experience, it can be difficult for them to gain the spiritual nourishment and fulfillment they seek.
This can lead to a lack of fulfillment and satisfaction with their faith, resulting in a stronger or more meaningful spiritual life.
On the other hand, when an individual goes to Church for the right reasons, they are more likely to engage in the church experience, connect with their faith and spirituality, and gain insight from the teachings and messages shared during the service.
This can lead to a deeper understanding of their faith and a more meaningful and fulfilling spiritual life.
Discovering Reasons Why You Are Going To Church
Discovering why you go to Church can be a valuable exercise that can lead to a deeper understanding of yourself, your faith, and your relationship with the Church.
Here are some ways to discover why you go to Church:
- Reflect on personal beliefs and values: Take some time to think about what you believe and what is important to you. How does going to Church align with those beliefs and values?
- Seek guidance from religious leaders or mentors: Talk to your pastor or a spiritual mentor and ask them for their perspective on why you should attend Church.
- Engage in self-reflection and introspection: Take some time to reflect on your experiences at Church and think about what you get out of the experience.
- Keep a journal: write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences after attending Church and reflect on them.
- Ask yourself questions: Why do I want to go to Church? What am I expecting to gain from it? How do I feel after attending Church?
Just come to Church anyway.
Coming to Church, even if you are not entirely sure why you are coming, can be beneficial for several reasons:
It can provide an opportunity to learn more about your faith and spirituality: Even if you are not sure why you are coming to Church, you can still gain insight and understanding from the teachings and messages shared during the service.
It can be a chance to meet new people: Church is a community of believers and an excellent opportunity to meet new people who share similar beliefs and values.
It can foster a sense of belonging and community: Church provides a sense of belonging, which can be especially important for people who are feeling lonely or isolated.
It can provide an opportunity for personal growth and development: By participating in church activities, such as service and mission work, you can develop your leadership skills, sense of responsibility and stewardship, and cultural and social aspects of your faith.
It can be an opportunity for self-discovery: By going to Church, you can explore your personal beliefs and values, you can question your motivations, and can help you to understand yourself and your relationship with the Church better.
Overall, coming to Church, even if you are unsure why, can provide an opportunity to learn, grow, and connect, ultimately leading to a deeper understanding of yourself and your faith, which can benefit personal growth and development.
Why Should You Go To Church According To The Bible?
Regardless of your reasons for coming to Church, it is still good to come together as a community of believers.
Several Bible verses discuss the reasons why you should go to Church. Here are a few examples:
Hebrews 10:25 (ERV) – “We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing. No, we need to keep on encouraging each other.
This becomes increasingly important as you see the Day getting closer.” This verse emphasizes the importance of coming together as a community of believers and encouraging one another in the faith.
Colossians 3:16 (ERV) – “Let the teaching of Christ live inside you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
This verse highlights the role of the Church in teaching and instructing believers in the word of Christ and singing and making music to God.
Ephesians 4:11-13 (ERV) – “And that same Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people.[a] 12 Christ gave these gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in what we believe and in what we know about the Son of God. Our goal is to become like a full-grown man—to look just like Christ and have all his perfection.”
This verse talks about the roles of leaders in the Church and how they are given to help perfect the saints and to help the body of Christ to be edified.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 – “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, enslaved people or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.”
This verse talks about the Church as one body, united by the Spirit and each member’s different roles.
These verses, and many others in the Bible, stress the importance of coming together as a community of believers and participating in the life and practices of the Church.
Asking yourself why you go to Church and what reasons compel you to do so is a healthy exercise that can lead to a deeper understanding of your faith.
The answer may come later. It even took me years to finally answer this question.
However, this is a personal journey to which you can ultimately provide an answer.
Whatever your reasons for coming to Church, just come anyway.