By Ryan Keith Reed
There are many obvious reasons for people to be a part of church. But, as a young person, there are a few reasons that might be overlooked. I believe in the church. And here are five reasons I’ve become part of a church. They might work for you, too.
Being in Community
Church is defined as the people. It is the people formed as one, which is the body of Christ. It is true there has to be a time to yourself for devotion and study. But there is also time to fellowship and grow with others. That is the beauty of being in a community of faith with people that are your age, with the same drive for worship as you. Now, community for me is a group of people that grow in the same belief and work together having the same mindset and goals. Just as the saying goes, "it takes a village", that's true for all aspects in accomplishing things as a community, and, as in 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, in being one in the body of Christ. That is what I have witnessed in church.
Sense of Family
Family is something that not everyone can say they have. There are those that miss out on the effects family can have on their lives: whether they grew up without a family, lost their family, or had to be away from family for school or other circumstances. I am very family oriented, so to go to a church where everyone is invested in you as if you were blood related is an amazing feeling. The people at church are meant to provide encouragement, support, and to be there for you when you need them. It feels good to know that there is someone in the church that you can talk to whenever you need, just because they genuinely want to.
Getting to meet people
Growing up I had some friends. After high school, we didn’t keep in close contact like we had when we were younger. I found myself feeling lonely. Then I realized that in having my church home, I had people that I grew up with and had seen almost every week. Those that were at my church were my close friends. They are friends to worship with, sing with, have Bible study, serve in the community, and take amazing trips with. I believe that even for those that may not have any friends or have had a hard time making friends, you can find a friend or friends at a church.
To have a pastor is not the reason to go to church. To have a pastor that is personable and will get to know you, though, is great. A pastor who knows you by name, who will pray for you when you ask (and when you don’t ask), who offers to be at things that you are a part of, and who is willing to help you with anything that you are in need of is a real blessing. I’m not saying all these things to set high expectations, but a pastor who is willing to do all those things from the heart, who loves you the way Christ loves them, and how Christ loves us adds a lot to life. Being able to call any church your church home also includes a pastor that you can call your pastor.
Bible stories are one of the things I fell in love with as a child — reading them and writing about them. There is so much meaning to the stories of the Bible and scriptures than we can understand on our own. Being part of a church gives me the opportunity to adventure through the Bible with others and get different perspectives and opinions. I'm glad to have a church home for not just the Sunday morning service, but for Sunday school and Bible studies during the week. It’s one thing to study the Bible on your own, but it’s even better to study the bible with other people and indulge in deep discussions — especially with others who have an urge to know and understand just as much as you want to.
I believe in the church and everything that comes with it. A love for one another, with a kind heart, without judgment, advice, and encouragement. Also kindness, love, and compassion, to help and serve one another in an honorable, and humble manner… Those are just a few things you can find having a church home, being a part of a community of faith to call your church home.
Ryan Keith Reed was born in Austin, TX, but raised in Pflugerville, TX. Ryan is currently pursuing Certification in Ministry and a Master of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theology Seminary. Ryan is working with youth and children involving Christian Education at Simpson United Methodist Church of Austin, TX. He is a member of the Young Adult Ministry Council (YAMC) for the Rio Texas Conference, where he's the Membership Chair. Ryan is also working on getting his Local Pastor License in the United Methodist Church.
[Posted August 3, 2018]