10 Reasons to Come Back to Church after Covid-19

There was a time when I stopped going to Church.

That was in the senior year of my university days. Week after week, I would come up with excuses to skip attending church so I could hang out with my friends on Saturday nights and sleep in on Sunday mornings.

I would rationalise away why I did not have to attend church to be a Christian: “Church is just a building,” I would tell myself. “I could read the Bible at home by myself; I could pray on my own. I could listen to Christian songs at home. And I could save money on petrol.” (My Church was a 50-minute drive each way from home then). It took many phone calls and prayers from my group leader and Church friends to get me back to Church eventually.

Now that physical Church has re-started, do you sometimes feel you are coming up with excuses to skip attending it?

Some of us have found it harder to come back to Church. Some of us have become comfortable with online Church, while others have lost momentum or interest in returning to physical Church. After all, tuning in to a live stream makes things easier for those who prefer to have a lazy Sunday morning or must look after their elderly parents or young children. Not to mention, we don’t have to jostle for car park lots, and we can now watch a live service from the comfort of our couch at home while eating our breakfast in our PJs.

With online Church here to stay, physical Church may look like an option. But is it?

Let’s get it straight. Online services are never meant to replace onsite Churches. The physical Church is still relevant and vital to our discipleship journey today. Here’s why.

1.Corporate Worship

We are made to worship God collectively. As a Church, we are called to gather together. Coming together as a Body of Christ to worship Him is not to fill the pews. It is to grow our faith.

Corporate worship is the heart and soul of our journey. God creates us to commune with and worship Him together with other believers.

We can praise, thank, listen to, and seek God through worship. We break bread together during services. We are encouraged in our souls by listening to what God says to us through sermons, prayers and songs.

Hebrews 10:25: “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

Acts 2:42: “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s supper) and to prayer.”

2. Spiritual Discipline and Discipleship

Going to Church forms part of our discipleship journey. It is a spiritual discipline that puts us on a gradual transformative journey that is always a work in progress.

Someone once said, “our thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits, and habits become our character”. It takes discipline to cultivate a spiritual rhythm and healthy spiritual habits.

Spiritual disciplines help fortify our discipleship journey, shaping and transforming us to become more Christ-like and focused, not just on Sundays but in our homes, workplaces, communities, and personal lives daily.

As Rev Raymond Fong, Pastor-in-Charge of Wesley Methodist Church, said, “Coming to the house of God to worship together is a spiritual discipline, and it is your costly sacrifice.”

Luke 9:23: “Then he said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily and follow me.”

Galatians 5:24: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.”

3. Spiritual Friendships

Community is a vital part of the Church. A Church is not merely a building, though the Church family meets in one. We are spiritual friends that gather in Christ to lift and encourage one another.

Meeting in person helps us to open up and have meaningful conversations and interpersonal interactions that deepen our understanding of one another and God.

We need spiritual friends for accountability, wise counsel, to bounce ideas, share our joys and sorrows with, and come alongside us to remind us that God loves us and wants the best for us. God helps us to strengthen one another in fellowship. 

There is nothing like meeting with someone for a conversation, discussion, meal, or drink to share life.

Even Jesus Himself had a community in His disciples.

Galatians 6:2: “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way, obey the law of Christ.”

Proverbs 27:17: “Iron sharpens iron.”

4. A Body of Christ

The Body of Christ is a spiritual family.

Each of us has a purpose and plan given by God to fulfill in the Body of Christ. Therefore, the Church comprises many parts, and the different parts must come together and unite to edify one another, work together, serve others and reflect Christ. It is often through meeting in person that we live out the purpose and unity as the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:27: “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

Romans 12:5: “So it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to one another.”

5. Priority

It’s all about priority. Period.

Waking up every Sunday and getting ready to go to Church to worship Him with our community is a commitment. It is a sign of our love and reverence for God. It is also a sign of giving our top priority to God.

Attending church faithfully helps remind us of our priority to God and cultivates our proclivity to put God first amid our busyness.

Matthew 6:33: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

6. Spiritual Gifts

God gives us different gifts to share and contribute as a Body of Christ. We are to use these gifts to serve Him and one another.

Many of these gifts can only be best used when we meet in person. Gifts such as praying for others, teaching Sunday School, leading in worship, singing in the choir, playing in a worship band, hospitality, and befriending the elderly are most beneficial when we meet face-to-face.

Say what you like, but a personal touch and face-to-face interaction sometimes is the key to authenticity and building relationships and trust. It makes a real difference when we do counselling and visit the sick physically.

Hebrews 10:24, 25: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. spiritual gifts to exercise to serve Him and the community.”

1 Peter 4:10: “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”

7. Serving God and the Community

Coming back to Church will give us more opportunities to serve God.

Whether teaching, making coffee for your Church friends, arranging chairs and flowers, organising Church activities or helping the sound crew at the service, your physical acts of kindness help bind our Church community together.

Sure, you may be able to do many things online or remotely, but nothing beats actual acts of kindness to extend physical help and support strangers and friends in our midst. God desires us to serve one another.

Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Romans 12:13: “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”

8. Encourage Our Pre-believer Friends and Community

Have you ever had friends asking you about a Bible study you have attended because they are curious about it?

Nothing influences more or works better than seeing someone in action.

In the same way, our act of going to Church faithfully is a living testament of Christ’s place in our lives to others. When we show our commitment to the church, we testify for God.

When our pre-believer friends see us going to Church, they might start to wonder what keeps us going to Church and whom we worship; they would be encouraged to learn more about Christ. If we stay home to listen to online sermons, we might not be able to provide the same visibility as going to Church on-site.

Let’s build up one another, put our faith into action, and make Christ known in our community.

I Thessalonians 5:11: “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

9. Encourage our Children by Our Examples

We teach our children many values and lessons through how we live our lives and what we do daily. Children are very observant of parental behaviour.

We can say a lot and cite many life experiences and Scripture, but nothing comes close to setting an example ourselves to the young ones.

Titus 2:6-7 “In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.”

Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”

10. Encourage the Pastors and Staff in Church

Lastly, returning to physical Church will encourage the pastors and staff.

Our Pastors and the Church staff team work tirelessly throughout the week so that we can all come to a well-organised and welcoming Church to enjoy fellowship with one another and commune with God. They spend time preparing the Sunday ground for us and planning fellowship activities, Church events and Bible classes to grow our faith on other days of the week.

Our presence in Church would greatly encourage and spur them on.

1 Thessalonians 5:12: “Dear brothers and sisters, honour those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.”

Acts 16:5: “So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.”

Returning to Church may not always be the most convenient. But Psalm 27:4 tells us: “The one thing I ask of the Lord —  the thing I seek most — is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.” And in no circumstances is this truer than physical Churchgoing in the post-pandemic world we are in now.

Perhaps you have been busy or have felt much inertia about returning to Church. Perhaps you have gotten used to listening to sermons at home. Consider taking the initial small steps.

Said Rev Raymond Fong in his message to the Wesley Church members: “For those who can return to Church, you can begin by committing to attending onsite services at least once or twice a month.”

Wesley has lined up some events for you and decked up the atrium to welcome you back to our Church family this season.

Will you consider praying, participating and be present at our services and year-end activities?

Will you consider coming home to Wesley this Christmas?

For a December to remember, please check us out at Wesley Methodist Church – Christmas 2022 for more information on the events and services this season. You can also listen to a message by Rev Raymond Fong at the same link.

Read also: Wesley Ministry Fair 2022: No gift is too small

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