• Tyler Barnes

Why do you Church? The Word

Updated: Mar 21, 2018

By Tyler Barnes

Why do people go to church? This simple question has been a reoccurring question asked to me frequently the last couple of years. Sometimes it’s phrased why do some church’s grow? Or, how do we grow our church? In order to grow a church, you must first understand why people go to church. This has taken me on an introspective journey of the many reasons I’ve attended churches the last several years. When I was young I went to church because that’s what we did. Every Sunday, my family would wake up early, put on our Sunday best, pile in the car, and off we went to Sunday school and church. Every Sunday. It’s what we did. It was one more thing for me to check off my list and on with life I went. It’s also worth noting I didn’t have a say in the matter. This is the same reason a lot of Americans go to church. It’s what they’ve always done. That is what their parents did, and their parents’ parents did. Or maybe church is important to your spouse, so you’re going out of obligation. You know there will be hell to pay if you don’t! Maybe, you think it’s important for the kids to grow up in church, so you go for that reason.

Then there was a season in my twenties that I went to church to feel good. There was no better place to go than my local megachurch. You could feel the presence of the Lord through the crowd, as the rock and roll band started playing through the current Christian top ten. (It may have just been the bass.) The coffee and doughnuts were name brand. The lights and smoke set a surreal scene. Capped off by the smooth, magnetic Pastor sharing a personal but not to personal message on the big screen. The truth is I wanted to be entertained. I had bought into our consumeristic culture, wanting the latest and greatest. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the megachurch that was the problem, it was my own reason for attending that was the issue.

As I grew in my faith, my wife and I agreed we wanted to go deeper in our walk with God, so we started church hunting. I can tell you the laundry list of items we were looking for: friendly, exciting, solid preaching, good contemporary music, an easy onboarding process to get involved… Why wasn’t a church that preached the Word of God enough? In closed countries around the world groups of Christians gather at great risk, hungry for Scripture. In the most accessible country in the world we need comfortable seating, refreshments, surround sound, and multiple worship times. I can honestly and ashamedly admit, I had never truly desired to read scripture. I knew the stories by heart. I’d read the Bible cover to cover. What more was there to know? I almost missed out. There is nothing more profound, more life changing, than the holy, inspired Word of God. Matthew 4:4 says “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” I had been missing out on the one thing I needed to really live! If you have been going to church for all the wrong reasons, like me, it’s not too late. Start studying Scripture and the hunger will come, then get plugged into a church that preaches the Truth of Scripture, and it will be more than enough.