UNDERSTANDING WHY PEOPLE GO TO CHURCH
There are several reasons why people go to church nowadays, some of which include in order to follow God’s directives, and to worship him in holiness. Others go there for selfish motives, just to please themselves; not minding what God thinks of them. The reasons why people go to church therefore include the following:
1. To Seek God: there are genuine seekers of God, who come to the church because they feel that it is the right place to meet with God. They come with contrite hearts; they are ready to do whatever would bring them into a better fellowship with their maker. They listen to what the pastor says, compare it with the scripture, and allow it to impart their lives positively. Their primary reason for being there is because they need a change in their lives. These are the true followers/worshippers of God.
2. To seek for partners: there are those who believe that the best place to get a genuine life partner is the church. So they come there primarily to look for a wife or husband; and they may not have a place in their hearts for the word of God to dwell. Once they get what they want, they take their leave. These ones could easily be deceived by the devil, and by pretence from the persons they have chased into the church, and eventually most of them end up getting a counterfeit partner. Just as they came for the sole purpose of getting a partner, so also are there others who came for the same reason, and have no word of God in them. They eventually end up linking up with one another.
3. To enjoy Music: And there are those who come to enjoy good, melodious music; they don’t study the word of God. The only time they remember to carry the bible is on Sundays as they prepare for service.
4. To display their attires: Some of the gorgeous dressers also come there just to display their latest fashion. They are so conscious of what they put on to service – the quality, cost and style of materials to wear. They want to show other worshippers that they are wealthy and have fashionable clothes. They hardly flow during worship because they don’t want their clothes stained or ruffled; as a result, the Holy Spirit can hardly touch them.
5. To honor invitation: Some also go there just to honor their friends’ invitations and maintain their friendship. They see it as an obligation that should be fulfilled in order not to offend their friends; and after they have done that to please their friends, they go back without really getting any benefit.
6. To honor their parents: Some also (especially those still under their parents’ control) would just come in order to honor their parents. Sometimes they do so because they want their parents to see them as good and obedient children, so that their school fees could be paid. They do it because they feel that failure to comply might mean their parents would have to withdraw some of their privileges.
7. To avoid stigmatization: Others want to avoid being stigmatized as pagans; since everybody around goes to church, they would want to come as well because failure to do so would make them to be looked at as bad people, sinners, pagans or unbelievers.
8. To seek for help: The reason some people go to church is because they have problems – spiritual or financial; and they believe they could get help from there. So, they are going there either because the church could deliver them from their spiritual problems or because it could grant them financial assistance. The moment their problems are solved, they disappear and refuse to worship God.
9. To socialize: Then there are those who see the church as a place to socialize and make friends; so going there would give them the ample opportunity to get good friends.
10. To represent the devil: Not everybody in the church is there in the interest of the church, the pastor or the members; some are there because they are assigned by the devil to destroy the church. They also sit on neat seats and pretend to listen to sermon or enjoy the music, but their minds are bent on evil.
So when next you go to the church, be aware that people do not all come there for the purpose of meeting with God, or for the purpose of listening to messages that would impart their lives positively. You should never be surprised when you see the good, the bad and the ugly there. Rather, you should concentrate on what brought you.
What this means therefore, is that people should not be too quick to condemn a church when a supposed member does anything funny, because not everyone in the church is a genuine member. Not everyone there is a genuine Christian. Jesus Christ said that ‘by their fruits you shall know them’. Those who are true worshippers are refined, decent, respectful, God-fearing, obedient, loving and compassionate people; and they eschew evil.