In our face-paced, high-tech, 24/7 world, is it important to make time in our schedules to go to church? How does going to church, and more importantly, being connected, involved, and serving, benefit us and our families? How does our presence and involvement benefit the church, too?
These are questions I hear many professional women wrestle with as they face ever greater forces competing for their time and attention. We all work hard, take care of our children, volunteer in our communities, and every once in a while carve out time to spend with friends or simply have a quiet moment to ourselves. In a society that encourages having every last minute of each day scheduled to the brim, it’s important to remember the great value being a part of a church has for each of us, and the even greater value we can offer to our church community through our presence.
The Bible makes it clear that worship is something we do to please God (Matthew 10:32-33), as well as build ourselves up spiritually. In a consumer-driven culture, we sometimes realize our motivation for attending church regularly is for our own blessing (and we are blessed when we do!), but the primary purpose of gathering together as believers is to bring “service” to the Lord as a blessing to Him (Psalm 134:2).
The Bible gives some great reasons for attending and staying plugged into a church in your community:
- Going to church is an expression of our love for the Lord
- Going to church builds up our spiritual strength and endurance
- Going to church allows us to fellowship with other Christians
- Going to church is an act of obedience
- Going to church brings us together in corporate prayer
- Going to church honors the Sabbath, a day for the Lord
If only these reasons were enough to motivate us to get to church on Sunday morning! Of course, there are seasons in life where circumstances make it more challenging to be involved and serve at church, or even simply attend on a regular basis. God is gracious and forgiving; Jesus offered salvation to the man hanging beside Him on the cross - and that man certainly had never been to church! Earlier this month, I was sick and decided it was best to stay home on Sunday morning. Thankfully, I was able to watch a great sermon online, and I’m sure God was pleased with my decision. The most important thing to remember is that God cares about our hearts above all else and offers us grace in every season.
As busy professional women, we need to stay committed to and involved at church so we both grow spiritually and have the opportunity to use our gifts to serve others. However, it’s just as critical that professional Christian women stay connected to and serve at church for the benefit of the church.
Women make up over 50% of the workforce today. That’s why it’s so important that the Church is relevant to women in the workplace. The only way the Church will know how to reach these working women is to have working women connected and serving them at church. Only in this past year has my own church started asking questions about what it is like to be a woman in the workplace and how they can serve this group of women. I am grateful that churches across the country are recognizing these often-ignored women in their pews and asking these important questions. I, like many other working women, felt alone, isolated, and irrelevant at church until these conversations started taking place. I even considered switching churches! But I am thankful the Lord brought these conversations to the forefront at our church, and that I can be a part of shaping ministries for working women.
Another very important reminder for churches: the Church loses out on half the gifts God has given His people if they don’t utilize each person’s God-given gifts! Women in the workplace have many gifts the church could benefit from if those women are empowered to use them in the church. A female COO of a Fortune 500 company could offer great wisdom about church operations. A woman gifted in leadership development could help develop church staff or even start a mentor program. The possibilities are endless! These gifts are financial as well. In the majority of households, women control the budget and determine whether their family is attending church and tithing. Statistics tell us that women today make as much as 80% of the purchasing decisions for their family and are the primary breadwinner for 40% of families in the U.S.! If churches neglect to connect and engage these women, they miss out on vast gifts and resources that could build and strengthen the Church.
If you’re still finding it difficult to be motivated to regularly attend and serve at church, remember that the impact goes beyond you. Our commitment to making church a central part of our lives affects our kids, too. I’m so grateful that three of our four children see “being part of a church family” as important to them as adults. The experiences they’ve had and things they’ve learned about following the Lord couldn’t be replaced outside of church. Our church has also been a lifeline for my family during my daughter Annie’s very difficult two-year health battle. Relationships we’ve built at church have been a huge part of our support system during this time. Remember that by committing to attending and serving at church, you are setting an example for many others.
But please remember: making the commitment to attend church regularly is not about guilt. We don’t need one more source of guilt in our lives, do we! Determine what works for you and your family, and commit to that. Make church work for you, but most of all, make it a priority!
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