Why go to church? Now, that is a good question! To make the answer reasonably short, we could say that there are two possible options: we go to give or to get. The law says go to church that you may give to God. But the gospel says that we go to church so that we may get from God. The later approach emphasizes God as giver and sinner as recipient. Thus, from a gospel perspective, worship becomes a “means of grace,” whereby through the songs, prayers, sacraments and teaching, I am strengthened by the promises of God in the gospel (2 Tim. 2:1). When the law calls me to worship, I feel guilty and burdened. When the gospel calls me to worship, I feel hungry, hopeful and glad. Law demanding worship (“I should go”) is like required attendance at a civic club meeting. But gospel inviting worship (“I get to go”) is like the banquet following the wedding of a King.
Now, part of the problem is that we who lead churches are not very skilled at preparing banquets of grace (and that in itself reveals a need for heart/grace revival among church leadership- myself being first in line). And so will you pray that those who lead Creekstone will become master chefs, who prepare a feast for the people, so that God will be overflowingly glorified by our gospel-imbibed joy.
FYI: For you theological precisionists (of which I count myself), I realize that the church is not a building or a meeting, but the people. Just using the common expression of “going to church,” as much as I am not a fan of the phrase. We don’t go to church, we are the church. Now that that is settled, let’s get hungry, hopeful and glad, and… uh… “go to church.” 🙂