Often when I get home after church, I’ll plop on the couch, turn on the TV for background noise, and work on another blog. I enjoy watching golf, which is so slow and quiet. On the far other extreme, I also like to watch car races. It may seem odd, but there is something relaxing about the deep throats of those cars as they barrel around the track.
When I was in college, I worked at a plywood mill some distance away. As I drove my Plymouth Fury to work one evening, I decided to see how fast it could go on the long straight stretch of road. When I approached 100 miles per hour, the car started to shake, and I quickly backed off the accelerator. Scared me to death. It was the last time I tried that! I can’t imagine the nerves of steel it must take to drive over 200 miles per hour while trailing another car by only inches.
These high-performance machines remind me of the importance of the local church. Without refueling and getting fresh tires, they will be a danger to themselves and other drivers. The same holds true for us. Getting our emotional, spiritual, and relational tanks refilled each week is important. Getting fresh “tires” gives us better traction against temptations that will confront us in the days ahead. Our “race” is too important for us to break down or run out of gas. Our race is to share the life-changing message of Jesus Christ and invite people to put their faith in Him.
Attending church each week is like driving into pit row. It will improve your performance. But if that’s all you are expecting, you’re selling yourself short. One real problem is that our American consumerism has carried over into the church. We start looking for what it can do for ME instead of how I can serve OTHERS. Satisfaction and a sense of significance comes when you become a pit crew member for someone else.
People with varying abilities, yourself included, are needed to make a church a good pit crew. It will cost you some time and effort, but church priority is worth it. Some things are done through the week. Other activities take place on the weekends. Find something that suits you, so that as you serve others, you’ll find yourself being strengthened.
A final word. Regular church attendance is vitally important for Christ-followers and their families. But walking into a church each week isn’t how someone gains eternal life. Only by receiving Jesus into your life will you be granted eternal life. In the vernacular of the car race, when you place your faith in Jesus Christ, God suddenly becomes your new Owner and Pit Boss. As such, His Holy Spirit will put you in constant “radio contact” with God.
If you’ve broken the habit of attending church, let me encourage you to give it another try. If you’ve been serving at your church and are getting tired, let me remind you that the Lord sees and will reward your efforts.
I’ll see you in the pits. firstname.lastname@example.org