I imagine I am not alone in having questioned why certain subjects had to be part of the school timetable. When a subject was of zero interest and had no apparent value, it became very difficult to take it seriously and give it full effort.
I wonder does that same attitude hold true when it comes to our church ‘timetable’? Sometimes we can focus on the ‘what’s on’ list, but never communicate why, and why it matters for our church and God’s kingdom.
Let me try to redress the balance somewhat. Especially as we come out of pandemic, and as we aim to move from ‘maintenance to mission mode’ as we are called to, it is vital that each of us understands and takes seriously our role in each part of church life
To simplify our church timetable, we have 3 main elements: WORSHIP DISCIPLESHIP PRAYER
Qn 1: Why should Christians attend services of public worship?
And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
We go to church to spur one another on, encouraging one another to continue in love, faith and service as we await the return of Christ. A church is a body and we go to worship for the good of the body, helping each other look to Christ.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35)
We join together in worship as a vital part of God’s mission strategy for reaching the world! Our self-giving love for one another points to the far greater love of God in Christ at work in us. That cannot be seen when a church doesn’t gather.
Our attendance at church is not in the first place about ‘my needs’ and ‘my preferences. We want to glorify God, encourage others, and point a watching world to Jesus.
Qn 2: Why should I be part of a discipleship group?
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12-17)
We go to our small groups through the week because God has called you and I to be his agents, speaking the Word of Christ to one another, and embodying his love to one another. We need to be active for the sake of helping others grow as disciples of the Lord Jesus, and to receive help from them.
Qn 3: Why should I join a prayer meeting?
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:14)
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:60)
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. (Acts 12:5)
Acts shows us that God’s church from the first was devoted to prayer. The disciples prayed as they waited for the Holy Spirit. The 3000 new believers devoted themselves to prayer. Stephen prayed and Saul/Paul would later be saved. Peter was in prison and the church prayed for him. We pray to express our shared dependence on God as a local church. We join to pray asking for more people to be saved. We join to pray for brothers and sisters
facing persecution. Prayer is one of God’s means for achieving his saving plans. I hope this helps answer some “why?” questions you may have. And that it will encourage you to join together for these 3 basic elements in our church timetable.
Yours in Christ,