This is why I go to church…

by: ellis j. still

Recently I gave a speech at my local Toastmasters about my ancestors. In the mid 1800’s during the height of slavery, they taught themselves to read by studying the bible. They used to sneak bibles out of the house, and meet at a predetermined place (ravines, ditches, woods, etc.) to have church. Many of the famed accomplishments by slaves of that time were not on their own accord, as  most history books tell it, but out of their faith and fellowship with fellow believers in Christ.

Fast forward to 2011. On Wednesday, August 24, 2011, Tina and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary since we met. What is interesting is that when we met, I wasn’t looking for a relationship – on purpose.

At the time, it was maybe a year after I gave my life back to Christ. My life before then had been a mess… one of chaos and uncertainty fueled by bad choices, bad relationships, and addictions, simply because I did not know who I was. So when I got serious about my faith, I was purposely not looking for a relationship because I wanted to focus on growing in (and healing through) the things of Christ.

When I joined my church, there were many opportunities to get to know people and to make new friends. Othell Miller and I used to see each other all the time at church, and so he invited me to his birthday gathering at his house. Tina and I happened to be the first people there, we started talking, and it felt like we knew each other since the 5th grade. This friendship evolved into three-plus years of marriage.

Here are three benefits that I have experienced as a result of going to church:

  • Going to church creates relationships with people who are aligned in values, principles, and faith. These relationships expand far beyond Sunday, and into professional & personal arenas.  1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
  • Going to church helps the healing and delivering process, with the understanding that while no one is ever perfect, the goal to continually grow in faith & Christ and to be better than you were yesterday.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)
  • Going to church is fun. Where else can you go that has a youthful & vibrant atmosphere, an awesome band with spirited Praise & Worship, has ministry groups where you can get involved to serve others or hang out, and to unexpectedly and unknowingly meet your future wife? Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

There are many more benefits to going to church… too many to name here. But the #1 reason is because God said so, and God doesn’t say things without it being for our benefit.  Acts 2:42 (ESV)

Question: What are some additional benefits to going to church? What are you thoughts on the subject? What is stopping you from going to church?

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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ellis
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