“….But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” – 1 Kings 19:9b.
This Sunday, like last Sunday, millions of people across the world will attend church. And many of them will ask a simple question, why? Why do I come to church every Sunday?
There will be different answers to that question. Some started going because of a parent. Maybe you have always gone to church and that is simply what you do on Sundays. There was no discussion or negotiations when it came to church. One or both parents said you had to and that was that. If you attended church to appease a significant other or relative, it can be really easy to become a fan rather than a follower. There is nothing wrong with going to church, but until you have a personal and meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ you could easily become numb to real faith, and comfortable with a few songs and a few favorite verses, none of which answers the question of what are we doing here.
So what are we doing here? About now people reading this are waiting for a deep spiritual, existential answer on “Why are you and I here?” Why have we been placed here on earth? What is our purpose in life? I don’t have the answers, but here are my thoughts: I believe the reason for our existence is essentially the same as the reason why the church exists. And I believe the church exists for the the glorification of God, the edification and sanctification of believers and to fulfill the great commission.
The church exists to bring glory to God. That is not only true of us in a church worship service, but it is also true of us in life. We are here to bring glory to God – in our careers, in our marriages and in the choices we make in life. This means we need to get our eyes off of us. When we are focused on our own self—our problems, our issues, our worries, our fears—we forget to look at God. In Collateral Beauty, Howard was so focused on his circumstances that he was overwhelmed. Stuck. Alone.
The church also exists for the instruction and improvement of the believer’s spiritual walk. We are here to follow hard after the Lord every day and let Him renew us and shape us into the person we need to be. We are here to grow ever closer to God. We do that through personal time with God, Bible study, small groups, reading books, etc.
The church also exists for the great commission and it is another reason why we are here. The great commission is for every believer, not just the staff of Northstar and a few missionaries and pastors. Every Christian is commanded to be involved in helping to reach the world for Christ. Each of us has an important, God given role to play in helping to fulfill the Great Commission.
- What are we doing here in your opinion?
- How does your answer to what are we doing here compare or contrast to what was said in this article?