church isn’t a class you go to

I had to apologize to my son recently. We were on our way to church one Sunday, and he said, “I think I know all the Bible stories now.” “Really?” I said. “All of them?” “Just about,” he replied. “And I know all the songs we sing in 9C94A2CF-000F-4AB7-8755-060CAC3ACE13church too.” That should make it easier for you to sing along,” I said.

“I don’t know why we keep going over the same stories and singing the same songs. Don’t they think we’ve got it down by now?” he asked. “I’ve been studying the Bible and singing songs for a long time…I get something new from God’s Word every week,” I answered.

By this time, we were getting out of the van and walking towards the worship center. That’s when he said, “I don’t think we need to go to church every week. Why don’t we just wait until there’s something new to learn?”

I mulled over that conversation the rest of the day. We discussed it over lunch…

And then, it hit me. For months (maybe years), I’ve conditioned him to think that attending a worship service is all about learning. From our Saturday night prayers (“Be with us tomorrow, Lord, as we go to church and learn more about You”) to after-church conversations 77FEE588-6341-41B8-A5B2-3C1B5B712279(“What did you learn in Sunday School today?”), our way of talking about church is predominantly educational. No wonder he thought we should move on. If church is school, then eventually, you graduate, right?

So, that night as I tucked him into bed, I apologized for not being clear on the reason we gather with other believers. “It’s not just about learning,” I told him. “It’s about worship. The learning is connected to our worship.”

“Is that why we sing the same songs?” he asked.

“Yes. When it’s easy for people to sing, they can concentrate on what they’re singing instead of struggling to learn a new song. Do you know how you like it when all the instruments fade away and you can hear everyone in church singing the same song as loud as they can – all of our voices harmonizing? That’s not about learning… it’s about worship. All of us together, worshipping God for how awesome He is.”

“We did David and Goliath today,” he said. “I already knew all about it.”…

“Yes, that is pretty cool…But the point of hearing the story again and again is not so that you learn more facts about the story. It’s that you are amazed again at God using a little guy like David to do something big for His people. That’s the way God is. That’s why we sing songs like, ‘How Great Is Our God’ in church…We are worshipping Him for what He has done.”

I like those songs.”

“Me too. And next time we sing them, think about the story of David and Goliath, and how powerful God is.”

“So it’s not just about learning.”

“Nope. The church isn’t a class you go to, son. It’s a people you belong to. It’s about worship. I’m sorry, son, if I’ve made you think otherwise.”  (Excerpt from “Dad, I Think I Know All The Bible Stories Now” by Trevin Wax)

Related: skydivers, haircuts and truth-infusion 

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About Jill

I'm a wife, mom to three beautiful children, and work as children's ministry director at Redeemer PCA in Athens, GA, a place our family treasures as our church home. It's been thirty years since the Lord saved me, and to this day I'm astounded at His steadfast love shed upon unfaithful me. My hope would be that I might speak and write in ways God would use to soften hearts toward Him, that we would together be enamored by the glorious beauty of Jesus and awakened to His love unimagined. Thanks so much for reading!
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