Although the rate of church attendance in America is certainly declining, especially among the millennials, the cause of the church attendance decline is actually not due to philosophical debates between atheism and Christianity. Instead, the real cause is logistics. People are not going to church, not because they have lost faith, but because of practical issues.
For Christians who do not attend church and non-religious and unaffiliated people who are stuck in a muck, this myTake is for you. Here are my reasons why you should make some time for God and faith.
Being a Christian often means that you attend worship services once a week and that you commit yourself to other church activities. Many denominations teach spiritual discipline as the requirement of being a disciple, a faithful follower, of God. Some denominations go even further and form monasteries, pursuing the epitome of a godly life.
If more Americans are in church, then their discipline towards God may spread to other areas of their lives, like how they interact with other people or whether they break free of bad worldly habits.
Being a Christian often means that you imitate Christ to the best of your ability. Because Christ represents the epitome of self-sacrifice, Christians should make sacrifices for the benefit of the community.
If more Americans are in church, then they will hear the word "sacrifice" frequently and actually have the courage to do it. Christ provides that courage.
3. Godly Love
Being a Christian often means that you receive godly love from your heavenly father. God loves all his children and wants to save them from evil somehow. The main purpose in a Christian life is to be saved. How that is achieved varies from denomination to denomination. I am not a theologian, so I won't discuss the details about salvation.
If more Americans are in church, then they will hear God's love and learn how to be loving. Discipline and sacrifice are important factors in love. Obedience of God's commandments is an act of love for God.
4. Spiritual Fulfillment
Being a Christian often means that God fulfills you spiritually. God is the most important thing in your life. Everything is structured around God. You attain spiritual fulfillment through God. God fulfills your god-shaped hole. With God, no other worldly thing is of greater value.
If more Americans are in church, then they will seek spiritual meaning and fulfillment through God, with God, and in God. Seeking pleasure in addictive, harmful food and toxic substances will just lead people to a life of misery. Seeking pleasure in God will be richly rewarding forever.
Being a Christian often means that you have a community, the church. Humans are social creatures. They interact with people, because positive social interaction strengthens intimacy and maintains peace in society. Christians can also use the social network to find new ideas, new people, and new opportunities.
If more Americans are in church, then they will expand their social circle. They will meet new faces, and new faces mean new ideas and new opportunities. Watching TV all day is not a productive behavior. People need to go out and MOVE!
6. A Truly Changed Heart
Being a Christian often means that you have a truly changed heart. You do good things, because you believe that God calls you to do them. You are led by the Holy Spirit. If people praise you, then you should tell them that God is the one that should be praised, and who knows? Maybe people will see your good works and be led to God. All glory goes to God. All good comes from God.
A person can be forced to do good things against his will or for the wrong reasons. If the person is forced to donate to charity because Mama says so, then that is not a good behavior, because the goodness does not come from his heart. He is merely going through the motions. If the person participates in a research study to make a few quick bucks, then the act is not good, because the motive is to make money for himself. It is possible that this selfish motive can turn wicked, if the person lies in the research experiment and intentionally goes against the instructions. Of course, such a wicked behavior is unlikely to happen, because his God-given conscience guides the choices he makes.
If more Americans are in church, then they will learn how to repent and forgive.
7. Constantly Improving Oneself
Being a Christian often means that you are constantly striving to improve yourself. You are always aware of your sinful nature and your tendency to sin. To sin means to miss the mark, the target of God's plan for you. As a Christian, you look at your mistakes and learn from them. You look at other people's mistakes and learn from them. Do not overcriticize other people so much for making mistakes. We all make mistakes, and we should all do our best to correct them. We should have faith in God that God will give us the strength to improve ourselves and fight sin. We should be thankful every day for making these improvements, because they are signs that God is working in us and truly cares about our well-being.
If more Americans are in church, then they will be informed about how to improve themselves. Sermons and Bible studies do just that. They make the biblical material relevant to modern life.
8. Constantly Exploring Oneself
Being a Christian often means that you are constantly exploring yourself. You study the Bible regularly, understanding social interactions, human nature, and the qualities of God. You look for strengths and weaknesses in people. You search for your own identity.
If more Americans are in church, then they will constantly explore themselves.
Being a Christian often means that you conform to God's standard instead of the fads of the day or popular ideas of your time. You may see people going on the Atkins diet or the Paleo diet or what-have-you diet. You may see people buying special-brand clothing or going gluten-free. Listening to God may help you conform to God's standard and not be so easily pressured by popular culture. Instead of adhering to popular cultural norms, you try to surround yourself with God's people, the church. Hopefully, they are obedient servants of God too. Surrounding yourself with a community of like-minded people reinforces the godly life. At the same time, you should not think too highly of yourself. If people praise you, then you should tell them that they should praise God. Only God deserves the praise. If people criticize you, then you should reconsider what you did wrong and whether you really are doing what God wants you to do.
If more Americans are in church, then they will conform to God's standard.