For this week’s Monday Minute, Kristin shares with us why it is vital for believers to go to church.
Go to Church or Chapel NOW!
by Kristin Goodrich
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) – Practice the habit of going to church!
I’ve attended military chapels across the US and in Panama, Japan, and Germany. I’ve attended church in massive facilities and when nobody else showed up. I’ve attended services in Spanish and Swedish. And like many of you, I’ve attended in person as well as online.
First as a single Navy sailor and later as an Air Force wife (and then as a mom of military kids), I’ve used different metrics to identify chapel/church “candidates.” Sometimes, I needed solid, dynamic teaching from the pulpit. Other times, I needed opportunities to worship and/or to serve.
More important than such metrics are the commands to love the Lord and to love our neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40). Going to church means we are obeying these “greatest commandments” as declared by Jesus Christ. Going to church or chapel means we have formed the habit of meeting together, stirring up one another to love and do good works (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Currently, my husband and I are in the habit of attending Mountain Springs Church (MSC) here in Colorado Springs. It is military-friendly and its four pillars represent what we want and need for our faith journey.
- Enjoy God.
- Grow in Truth.
- Share Life.
- Live the Mission.
I’ve long been involved with Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) whose Four Aims are similar.
- To LEAD women to Christ
- To TEACH women God’s Word
- To DEVELOP women’s spiritual gifts
- To INVOLVE women in Chapel ministries
Starting and then keeping the habit of going to church/chapel means doing so in both the public and private arenas. Privately, I have started and now keep the habit of daily Bible reading, personal prayer, and solo worship. Publicly, we have started and now keep the habit of being challenged by the sermon, interacting with others, and lifting our voices together in song.
What habits are you practicing?
On our own, we can easily come up with excuses to skip services and therefore neglect “to meet together, as is the habit of some” (Hebrews 10:25a, ESV). With social distancing, we may have developed a new habit of doing church online.
When we cannot meet in person, virtual services are valid, needed, and legitimate. When offered the choice, what habits have we formed when we choose to stay home for online worship instead of attending in person? The lure of “easy” and “safe” often contrasts the strain I endure in order to become more like Christ—who avoided “easy” and “safe” on our behalf.
Public church/chapel attendance and participation counteracts the tendency to idolize my point of view and my personal conclusions about current events. Remaining at home when I could go to church means I can get in the habit of avoiding personal exchanges with others.
Indeed, as Christian military women, we enjoy meeting together openly in the exercise of our faith. I’ve done chapel with a couple of others in a quiet space aboard ship. We’ve met in the sweltering heat, without the luxury of air conditioning. You may have met up for chapel with shattered glass beneath your boots. Going to church may feel like risky business.
When we meet together at church, we gain more than a “check” in the attendance box. We make eye contact, see others’ tears, notice bebopping or weary walking postures, and are made aware of the Holy Spirit who is also with us when two or more are gathered in his name.
While going to church may feel like risky business, to stop or to skip going to church/chapel is riskier business!
Choose to go to church/chapel, and then make it your habit!
Read: Hebrews 10:25, Acts 14:22, Acts 14:27, Psalm 55:14
Reflect: What reasons or excuses keep you from attending church in person?
Respond: Consider the cost of NOT attending church/chapel in person.
Lord, we need to be in church/chapel with one another. We want to be obedient to your commands and we need to overcome obstacles in order to do so. We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.
– To find a military-friendly church near you or to connect with those who minister to the military, check out Military Missions Network (https://www.militarymissionsnetwork.com/)
– Check out “Journey 1: Determined to Thrive in Relocation” found in Directed which is one book in Brenda Pace’s Journey of a Military Wife series
For more benefits of belonging to a church body, read Growing Together by Serving by Michelle Hieb.