With the number of churches available worldwide it is often difficult to decide upon which one to attend on a regular basis. Having a good experience in one church may strengthen our faith and make us come closer to God. On the other hand, a bad experience in another church could weaken our faith altogether and push us away from God. As a result of this, we must first address the following issues within ourselves before we make this important decision.
Reason for attending Church
The main reason for attending church is to partake in the worship of God with other Christians. If this is the case and the Bible teaches us that our bodies are temples then we should know that the real church of Christ is us. In that case, we are not attending a house of God but bringing ours to others. A common proverb said amongst us is: ‘You can tell a person by the nature of the inside of his house.’ This means if a person’s house is untidy then naturally so is that person and vice versa. Having a tidy house doesn’t depend on how much you earn. Even a beggar on the street can make the sidewalk were he sleeps accommodating. This is a case of what you do with what you have. This same understanding applies to our temple of God. Our bodies have to be clean spiritually and physically to carry the spirit of God. If we can achieve this then we would carry the light of God into whatever Church we attend. God is not in a physical structure, he resides in us. For this reason, no church should have the power to weaken our faith.
Differing service types of the church
There are many different service types practiced in different churches. However, in each of these service types, there is a time for music, choir, preaching, prayer, announcements, testimonies, bible studies, bible reading, baptism, communion and some others that are not mentioned here. Based on the service practiced in a particular church one of these categories could be given more attention over another. The important thing to remember here is that God is not in the physical structure but in us. In that case what we should look out for is which of these categories strikes a cord within us spiritually. If the spirit of God within us can connect to the spirit of God within the service before us whether it is the music, the sermon, the prayer or even the testimonies then this is the church that we were meant to attend. Our spirits are not energized by the physical structure but by the spiritual structure and so a church that may seem wonderful from the outside might offer us nothing within and vice versa.
The human factor
Another important element to remember before attending church is that everyone in that church is equal. The priest and the elders are as human as we are. They can also have a bad day. This is why we must always go back to our reason for going to church. As the priest prays for us, so must we also pray for the priest. Even before attending church we must pray that the priest is also prepared to receive us with a message from God. This is another reason why no church should weaken our faith in God.
Rules of the Church
The rules of the church vary from one church to another. However as mentioned earlier we are the true temples of God which mean the only rules that should really matter are the commandments. The most important ones are we must love God first and foremost above anything else and we must love our neighbors as ourselves. Any rules beyond those of the Bible are man made and should not be a pretext for not attending church.