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Why bother with church?

Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together. Hebrews 10:24-25

Winston Churchill once said that he related to the church rather like a flying buttress: He supported it from the outside. (A flying buttress is an external support that reinforces the walls of old cathedrals.) I tried that strategy for a while, after coming to believe Christian doctrine sincerely and committing myself to God.

I am not alone. Fewer people attend church on Sunday than claim to follow Christ. Some feel burned by a former experience. Others simply “get nothing out of church.” Why bother?

Today, I could hardly imagine life without church. Church has filled a need for me that can’t be met in any other way. An early-church leader wrote, “The virtuous soul that is alone . . . is like the burning coal that is alone. It will grow colder rather than hotter.”

Christianity is not a purely intellectual, internal faith. It can be lived only in community. At a deep level, I sense that church contains something I desperately need. Whenever I abandoned church for a time, I found that I was the one who suffered. My faith faded, and the crusty shell of lovelessness grew over me again. I grew colder rather than hotter.

And so, my journeys away from church have always circled back to the church. — Philip Yancey

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We join our hearts and hands together,

Faithful to the Lord’s command;

We hold each other to God’s standards—

All that truth and love demand. — D. De Haan

READ: Ephesians 4:1-16

The church is not a select circle for a few, but a spiritual center open to all.

The Bible in one year:

• Psalms 78-80

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