10 Reasons You Should Go To Church


When I was young in ministry, I used to pray Psalm 27:4 which says, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”

I had no idea He would take me so literally. Since coming to Christ more than three decades ago, I’ve spent most of that time serving in churches and ministries, mostly in worship ministry.

One thing I’ve noticed during that time is that often, even the most devout Christians, for one reason or the other, fall away from attending worship services or small group meetings on a regular basis.

So, in response, here’s my list of ten reasons why people should go to church:

1. Christian Fellowship goes two ways: with God and with others. (1 John 1:3)

2. It’s one of the greatest habits (Hebrews 10:25)

3. For the opportunity to use your spiritual gifts to help others. (1 Peter 4:10)

4. Accountability. (Hebrews 13:17)

5. There are no self-sufficient Christians. (1 Corinthians 12:21)

6. To make a joyful noise unto the Lord! (Psalm 100)

7. To “devote yourself to the apostles teaching, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42)

8. To pray for others and to be prayed for (Matthew 18:19)

9. To express your love for God publicly (Psalm 22:22)

10. It’s what Jesus did (Luke 14:6)

There are possibly hundreds of other reasons to attend worship services and small group meetings. Any that come to your mind today? If so, leave a comment below.

P.S. If you have fallen away from church, Easter is a great time to come back. If you live in or around New Orleans, South Baton Rouge, or even if you live in Turrialba, Costa Rica, let me officially invite you to join us at Celebration Church. This year, we have 58 services across all of our campuses. Check it out at http://www.celebrationchurch.org/easter.

*photo courtesy of Unsplash

The Biggest New Thing

On this day in 1969, Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York opened the first automatic teller machine (ATM). By the 1980’s, these money machines were everywhere from banks to gas stations to cruise ships. It’s hard to imagine what today’s world would be like without them.


What was inconceivable before is now commonplace.

Five years ago, a friend said he thought it was rude to read scripture from your phone during the worship service. This year, he shared with me about how excited he was about how the people at his church all check-in on You Version for their scripture and their sermon outline.


What he rejected before has now become the new norm.

A few weeks ago, I had never heard of a MEVO. A month ago, I approved a purchase of one of these new small cameras with live streaming and recording capability. Two weeks later, we ordered seven more.


What we didn’t have before suddenly became a necessity.

Today, we use planning center for worship planning, tithe by text, and tag our pastor during his sermon. I never would have dreamed of doing these things ten years ago, not because it was bad. Just because it wasn’t how we lived then.

Makes me wonder what will be different in ten years in both life and church.

If you have any thoughts, let me know and I’ll share it next week.


I Ain’t No Professional Ain’t Cuttin’ It No More

I saw a sign in a restaurant the other day proclaiming “The Only Thing Worse Than Our Food Is Our Service.” Unfortunately, I’d already ordered the pancakes.


By the way, the sign was right.

“I ain’t no professional” is a phrase I’ve heard once too often in my life in various capacities. I think it’s safe to say that if “You ain’t no professional then there ain’t no need to say it. Everyone already knows.”

The difference between the amateur and the professional is simple. The professional is willing to roll up his sleeves and go to work.

photo-courtesy of Unsplash - Matthew Wiebe

The word professional is defined by Google dictionary as someone engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.” This means the person is serious about it and is willing to work hard.

My profession for most of my life has been ministry. In some of my positions, I haven’t always acted professionally for various reasons. I sometimes I didn’t know what to do or who to trust and I often let my insecurities keep me from doing the work that needed to be done. In those moments, I was allowing myself to become an amateur.

The author of Proverbs 22:29 once wrote: “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.”

Some people want to reference the above verse and say that we shouldn’t associate with certain people. Believe it or not, they may be right, but not in matters of race, socio-economic status, or sports team affiliation. However, we should be careful with associating with those who are going to wastefully absorb our time and keep us from the professionalism we should strive to achieve.

In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield writes:

“Grandiose fantasies are a symptom of Resistance. They’re the sign of an amateur. The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.”

It’s time to quit whining. It’s time to do the work that’s set before us. It’s time to be professional.

Dustin Lee - Unsplash 1

I Don’t Want to Gaze on the Beauty of the Lord


 I was in elementary school when I first heard Psalm 27:4  –  I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple.

I was intensely disappointed and confused.  I couldn’t comprehend that David, the Giant Slayer, wanted to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life.  To me, that meant going to church everyday.  Gazing on the beauty of the Lord meant I had to be quiet and still like when I was supposed to gaze upon a work of art in a museum.  It didn’t make sense to me.  I also failed to understand the whole Seeking Him in His temple thing.  How I was supposed to find anyone if I had to sit still in church?  I was well acquainted with the rules of Hide and Seek, but I’d never played it with God.  My teachers had taught me that God was everywhere all the time which meant it would be really hard for Him to hide which would end the game really fast.  All of this added up to mean one thing:  I had no desire to gaze on the beauty of the Lord.  I certainly didn’t want to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

However, after coming to know Jesus, I understand what it means to experience His presence in worship, both privately and corporately.  My elementary school self would probably be surprised to hear that I long for these times.  Worship is not just me sitting passively listening to other people talk and sing about a distant God.  It’s an opportunity for me to encounter the living Creator of everything who loves us so intensely that He died so we might spend eternity with Him forever and Him dwell within us even now.

I still don’t want to play hide and seek with God.  He’s everywhere and I have no desire to hide from Him.  I’d rather be with Him…gazing on His beauty, dwelling in His house all the days of my life.

Lord, I desire one thing: To spend all of my life seeking after You and experiencing Your presence.

The Real Lies of Christians


A.W. Tozer once wrote, Christians don’t tell lies, they just go to church and sing them.  He was right.  If we truly lived out everything that we sang in worship, our lives would be much different.  We would all be much more like Jesus.

I’ve often heard it said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  It’s a phrase that has been around for hundreds of years.  In 1708, Jeremy Collier and Andre Dacier wrote a biography of Marcus Aurelius where a similar phrase was used by the Roman emperor himself.  He said, You should consider that imitation is the most acceptable part of worship, and that the gods had much rather mankind should resemble, than flatter them.

Even though the emperor was mistaken as to the number of deities that actually exist, he was correct in the remainder of his statement.  Offering our praise to the Lord is very important, however, it is not just about us singing or speaking praise to God in the moment, but it involves us imitating Jesus.  In Ephesians 5, Paul stated Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children.  And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. We are to love others as He loved us.  So, let’s give the Lord our sincerest form of flattery.  Let’s imitate Him and walk in His love.


The Biggest Worship Mistake Ever


Everyone, everywhere seems to have an extremely detailed opinion of what or how worship is supposed to be.  Interestingly enough, most of these opinions do not refer to true worship in a biblical sense, but are more about music style, sermon methodology, tradition (or the absence thereof), and permissible clergy clothing.

However, when Isaiah saw the Lord in Isaiah 6, he experienced the greatness of God, realized the extent of his own sinfulness, and witnessed his sin being atoned for.  The end result of his worship experience was when Isaiah said “Here am I, send me.”

God shaped us after Himself so that we could experience His presence and accomplish His purposes.  When we realize who He is and all that He has done for us, our only reasonable response to Him is worship and absolute surrender.

Related Posts:

Is There Anything Truly Unique About Christianity?

Intruder In My House

Why You Deserve More Than What You’re Getting

We Need Each Other

As a young worship leader in college, I started dating a girl who later became my wife.  As she and I grew in our relationship, we discovered that we loved serving the Lord together.  She helped me with church productions and I served on the drama team that she led.  When our relationship became very serious, I grew frightened at the idea of a lifelong commitment, so I broke up with her.  After a few months, I realized that my life was empty without her.  I knew that we had to spend the rest of our lives together.  God meant for us to be together.  We needed each other.

Two years after we were married, we went to serve as missionaries in Central Asia.  We soon found that our personalities clashed with many of the other Americans there.  We felt like we had made a terrible mistake in moving around the world to serve with these people.  However, we were still learning the language and we needed their help to survive.  They needed teachers for their school and they needed help in planting a church.  As difficult as it was for us all, we forced ourselves to get along.  For whatever reason, God had us together for that season.  We needed each other.

A couple of years later, back in the U.S., I found myself working in a small church with an older pastor.  As a young man with lots of energy, I worked hard and tried to implement lots of positive changes to the church’s ministry.  I soon discovered, after falling into bed one night in total exhaustion, that my efforts were pointless.  The pastor and I were not working together.  After some time, we managed to improve our communication and started to involve each other in worship planning, special projects, and ongoing ministry.  It took a long time for me to understand that God had placed both of us in the same church and therefore we could accomplish much more if we worked together.  Even though we were from different generations, we needed each other.

In all of my formal ministry training, no one ever taught me that I needed other people.  My professors taught me about systematic theology, music history, and pragmatic choral procedures, but I never learned that most ministry does not take place on the stage in front of people.  Hence, I never realized, until I was serving in ministry, that it’s mostly about people.  I thought I had to do all the ministry myself.  I thought I had to be a Christian Ministry Superman.  But it’s not about me.  It’s not about you.  It’s about the Lord.  It’s about pleasing Him.  And I’ve come to understand that I can’t do it alone.  Even if I worked twice as long and twice as hard, I would still need help.  There will always be one more service to plan, one more soul to win, one more drummer to be find, one more set to build, one more message to plan, etc…  I will never get it all done by myself.  You will never get it all done by yourself.

We need each other.

Why Most People Misunderstand Spiritual Gifts

I once attended a worship service where the worship leader finished the worship set, sat down on the floor beside the pulpit, flapped her arms and clucked like a chicken, then rolled off of the stage where she continued to cluck periodically while the pastor was preaching.  Whenever she clucked extremely loud, the pastor would chuckle and say, “Don’t mind her.  It doesn’t bother me.  She’s just practicing her spiritual gift.”

Fortunately, her “spiritual gift” wore off just in time to lead the closing song.


I believe that all of the spiritual gifts are valid for today (although I’ve never seen chicken clucking listed), but I do think that most people have a misunderstanding of spiritual gifts.

The Definition of a Spiritual Gift

A spiritual gift is a special ability, given by the Holy Spirit to every believer at conversion by the Holy Spirit, to share His love and strengthen the body of Christ.* 

If you feel like you don’t understand spiritual gifts, you’re not alone.  Apparently, there have been misunderstandings about spiritual gifts as long as there have been spiritual gifts.  The Apostle Paul even wrote:

Now about the gifts of the Spirit,brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 1 Corinthians 12:1 NIV

Most people tend to think that God gives them spiritual gifts for their own benefit.  God loves us, right?  So, doesn’t it make sense that He would give us spiritual gifts to help us succeed in life?  However, the Bible actually indicates that the opposite is true.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.  1 Peter 4:10 NLT

My pastor will often have every one read this scripture aloud with him, but will then insert the wrong words at the end, like this:

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to “make a lot of money.”

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to “make yourself look good in front of others.”

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to “get ahead in life.”

People always laugh, but he makes a good point when he does this, especially when he has them read it one last time the correct way:

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 

God wants us to use the gifts He has given us to serve one another, not ourselves.

Many years ago, a man walked up to me and vigorously pumped my arm.  He said, “Bob Smith, Evangelist!”  He then proceeded to tell me all about his ministry, but never once did he try to introduce me to Christ.  What’s wrong with this picture?

God gives us spiritual gifts so that we may serve one another, not so that we could strut around like a peacock, showing off to the rest of the world.

*Definition found in S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life by Erik Rees


Stepping Down To Be President

Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different ministries, but the same Lord.  And there are different activities, but the same God is active in everyone and everything.  A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial.  1 Corinthians 12:4-7 HCSB

Several times a year, I facilitate a class designed to help people discover and understand their ministry within the local church.  Without fail, someone approaches me after class and says, “I’m glad that I’m taking this class, but I just don’t feel like what I have to offer is really important.  It’s not like I’m one of the pastors or the worship leader.”

Imagine that your body is the Body of Christ.  You have two legs, two arms, two eyes, two ears, one stomach, two lungs, one heart, etc…  What would happen if your liver decided to stop functioning because all of its work was done behind the scenes?  It would stop its detoxification of your body and things would get bad really quick.  What would happen if your ears suddenly decided to stop serving the body?  The other parts of your body would have to overcompensate to make up for the loss.  What if you lost your little toe?  You would suddenly discover how much it helped you maintain your balance.  Every part of the body is important and necessary.

I once heard musician/comedian Mark Lowry tell a story about surrendering to the call God was placing on his life.  He went to his dad and told him that he wasn’t sure that he was hearing God correctly.  Mark wondered if he should seek after a more traditional ministry position within a local church.  His dad smiled and said, “Son, remember this, if God calls you to be a ditch digger, you would be taking a step down to be president.”

If you have a relationship with Jesus, then you are a necessary part of the body of Christ.  Without you, the body of Christ can’t be complete.  Without you, the church can’t fulfill the purposes that God has set before us.