Book Look – Finding Church – Obligation

Finding Church

I found a book called “Finding Church” by Wayne Jacobsen, and am on my second reading.

During my reading yesterday, I came across the concept of “having to go” to church. I lived in that morass of thinking for decades.

What is it that took the “wanna be with believers” from the children of God?

One simple truth – You “gotta go to church”.

What?

Why do believers adopt a “gotta go” attitude?

  1. Possibly because the “wanna go” life dried up and died?
  2. Or because of “gotta go” requirements being imposed on believers?

Who knows – As a matter of fact, if any one has knowledge of how that “shift” in church life occurs, let me know – I would be very interested to reading up on it.

Wayne makes a point supporting this thinking when he states

“….making attendance an obligation may already demonstrate that we’ve lost the vitality of real community and have become mired in mundane rituals, demands for conformity, or internal conflicts that alienate people”

Ask yourself one question. Would you attend church if the obligation (whether social or religious) to attend was completely removed?

Do you anxiously wait to visit with a brother or sister, or attend “services” only to discuss sports, work or the weather?

Brother & sister, consider the reason for fellowship. Service to others through mutual encouragement is the goal, not simply the gathering of warm bodies to fill a building and to listen to a lone preacher man.

koinonia 1

Fellowship is the sharing of life with each other, not the commonly accepted understanding of receiving bible facts (teaching) from a man many in the church rarely rub shoulders with in daily life.

Consider the last time your family came together due to obligation. A properly functioning family comes together because of love, of wanting to be with each other, of a longing to see each other and share life with each other. If your children come to visit you because of guilt, change your ways! (The word “dysfunctional” comes to mind if this is your situation.)

Why is it acceptable to motivate believers with obligation instead of love? It should not be so with the body of Christ.

1 John 1:3,6-7

that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

koinonia 2

Note that those who are in fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ (vs 3) have fellowship with one another (vs 7). Those that are not in fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ do not have fellowship with anyone.

An obligation to a building or a religious service, however good they may be, will not provide the fellowship described in the Word. Obligation strips the desire of fellowship down to a simple item to be checked off in our religious exercises.

So sad.


If any who are reading this and have found what I am describing, please let me know. If any are hungry for a church life that “connects”, that is living and breathing, reach out.

Others may be able to help you. Comment as you see fit. I always love hearing from you.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

7 thoughts on “Book Look – Finding Church – Obligation

  1. Coming from a family that never went to church, it is hard to relate. As a kid I dreamed of one day going to church. My father believed “you don’t have to go to church to worship God!” My mother didn’t like being around crowds of people, so our spiritual teaching was confined to home. Currently, I enjoy going to church to 1) hear God’s Word and 2) to fellowship with other Believers. So, I don’t “have to go to church,” I want to go to church”, so I agree that makes a big difference! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. When we give our hearts to God, we become part of the family of God. We must never forget we are a family. Covid-19 has really restricted the assembling together of the brethren. My wife and I found ourselves craving the fellowship of our brethren. We missed them!

    During the whole thing, there were a few of us that gathered at a brothers house for some fellowship which was wonderful. Like you addressed in the post, church should never stop being like that. We need to be going because we want the fellowship of our brethren, not out of obligation.

    I’ve also noticed that in some larger churches it’s more listening to the pastor preach than it is interactive. Some of the smaller churches as well as the one I attended now allow discussion and interaction with the preacher. We also gather into groups in the morning to study the lesson for that week and share our thoughts on what we found in our studies of the subject. That’s what church needs to be like. Interactive!

    God Bless Brother

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