Why Do We Gather to Worship?

I’ve been thinking about this idea for some time now, and was reminded of it while listening to a recent episode of “Ask Pastor John.” I think most Christians, who have been so for a number of years, have a general understanding of why Christians gather together to worship God. In general, followers of Christ gather together for worship to praise God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), to encourage one another, to attend to the needs of the saints through prayer and in some material way when possible, to be instructed from the holy Scriptures, and to be prepared to be God’s servants throughout the week in our respective communities. I probably could just as easily quoted from Acts 2:42–47.

One thing that wasn’t included in that list was the word “fun.” I don’t suppose I’m the only one to have heard a church leader either imply or explicitly state that one of the reasons for Christians to gather together for worship is to have fun. But I don’t think you’ll find that any where in Scripture. The notion that we should strive to have “fun” devalues the ultimate reason we gather together, to acknowledge the greatness and majesty of the God of the universe and to give him his due. We come together to praise almighty God. There ought to be a weight and seriousness to this exercise. When church is about having “fun” it will tend toward casualness and frivolity. It will not give proper reverence to God.

Maybe I’m reading too much into a particular use of “fun.” Maybe by “fun” someone simply means to experience the joy of the Lord. If that is all someone means, then by all means go for it. However, “fun” churches are often the same ones that employ methods and means that detract from experiencing God inducing joy.

The good news is, God is still able to use our feeble (and sometimes sinful) efforts to draw others to Christ. The gospel that God sent his Son to save sinners can still be heard among the many fog machines and off key choirs by all the Lord calls to himself by his Spirit.

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