Over time, I've heard from some of you readers who tell me you haven't been going to church for years, and in my heart this feels as though you're turning down Disneyland, outlet malls, and a sunny day on the beach all at once.
Over time, I've heard from some of you readers who tell me you haven't been going to church for years, and in my heart this feels as though you're turning down Disneyland, outlet malls, and a sunny day on the beach all at once. (Charisma archives)

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When generous people made a California trip possible for our family several years ago, we did the Disneyland thing and the outlet mall shopping trip and the sand-n-sea excursion. We also visited a megachurch one Sunday morning. When it came to extra time and choices of activities that weekend, I suggested we visit one or two or three other church services in the area. Because how fun!

But to the beach we went.

Mom. Is. Weird.

I just love the church so much. The church.

Last Sunday morning we went to a little town called Libby, Montana, where Matt has been filling in as preacher for a few weeks. It's a small church in the sticks. But the people are sweet, and I have been enjoying worshipping the Lord with them as much as I enjoyed the lights, cameras and action of the megachurch we visited in California.

There's something rich about gathering with other followers of Christ.

Over time, I've heard from some of you readers who tell me you haven't been going to church for years, and in my heart this feels as though you're turning down Disneyland, outlet malls and a sunny day on the beach all at once.

I told my friend last night that I was shipping this blog post to you, and she said, "What look will your readers see on your face when they're reading about why you think they should go to church?" So I showed her, and it looked like a child's best, "Mom, pleeeeeeease can we go to the park today?" look. So are you picturin' it? Me here with this begging face on?

My Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Go to Church

1. If you follow Christ, you are part of the body of Christ, and body parts, by nature, are connected. I know a sweet young woman who is recovering from surgery on the stump of her leg right now, so I can picture what a troublesome thing it is to have an amputation (1 Cor. 12:27).

2. God wants to show others who he is through YOU. When you get involved at church, people get a bigger understanding of who God is (1 Cor. 12:7). Crazy, huh?  

3. You have been given a spiritual gift that is to be used to build up the body of Christ. Your gift is something other believers desperately need (1 Cor. 12)!

4. You need to eat, learn and pray with other believers (Acts 2:42-47).

5. You need to share with others, which means you have to hang out enough that you see the needs your brothers and sisters have. And they're gonna wanna share with you (Acts 2:45).

6. You need encouragement, and other believers need encouragement from you on a regular basis because this life is seriously hard (Heb. 10:25).

7. You need to laugh and cry with other believers through all the ups and downs of life. That can only happen if you're meeting with other believers through a lot of days (Rom. 12:15).

8. God is going to comfort you, often through the words and actions of other believers, and He wants you to pass on the comfort to the believers around you (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

9. If God is your Father, that makes church a family gathering (Phil. 1:2).

10. When you gather with other believers and love them, God's love is made complete in you (1 John 4:12).

See, you need the church, and the church needs you.

It's messy. You'll get hurt by folks sometimes and will be disappointed by them often. But church is God's design, and if you risk going to church, you will bring glory to God and will find your own great joy.

Pleeeeeeeease will you go to church?

And for those of you who are regular church attenders, could you fill the comment section below with reasons why meeting regularly with your church family is so vital in your life? Maybe your words will be just the encouragement someone else needs to hear!

Christy Fitzwater is an author and pastor's wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the author of Blameless: Living A Life Free from Guilt And Shame and My Father's Hands: 52 Reasons to Trust God with Your Heart. Find her devotional writing at christyfitzwater.com.

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