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Next time you go to church, ask yourself this question: Why am I here?

If I go to the cinema, I know why I am going. I am there because I want to see a movie. I want to see a movie I think I will enjoy, and I want to share the experience with people I like.

There are clear expectations.

So, why have you turned up at church? Think about it. What do you hope to achieve or gain by being here? What are your expectations?

Let’s see some things the Bible teaches us.

“Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4: 11 – 13).

“What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up” (1 Cor 14: 26).

Perhaps the first thing to conclude is that we go to church to build, to help create something. To give of ourselves in such a way as to bless others and build them up.

What else?

“…speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Eph 4: 15 – 16).

Anything being built well will grow.

The human body is always growing. Adults don’t grow any taller, although they may shrink a little! Or even grow outwards!! But they do grow. Hair and nails get longer; cells are always being renewed; cuts heal, bones reset, and blood is continually being cleaned and replenished.

We are the body of Christ and God wants us to be continually growing as well. As we speak to each other, imparting truth and love; as each person does his or her work of serving and building, the whole body of God’s people grows in strength and maturity.

We can’t participate in these things by watching a service online.

And finally…

“…where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matt 18: 20)

“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” (Ps 22: 1).

The third reason for meeting together is to meet with God. To stop, together, and gaze on Him.

There is a special sense of the Lord’s presence when we gather in His Name. As we worship in one space shoulder-to-shoulder, we find ourselves on holy ground. The Lord is in the midst and wants nothing less than to meet with us.

He wants to receive the little we can give and multiply it, grow it. Build. Create. As we minister to one another before His throne, a word shared here, a tear shared there, each is transformed through faith, hope and fellowship. We meet with God and the church is built up. We grow together, strengthened through each person’s gift and our love for each other.

Why do we go to church?

Why would we want to stay away?