We often focus on the personal side of worship when we note what marks a man after God’s heart. God’s man is marked by prayer, praise, and personal worship. As he reads, memorizes, and meditates on God’s Word, he develops a deep reservoir of strength that, in time, issues forth in praise and prayers of gratitude for his God.
But there is another aspect of worship—the public side. From the very beginnings of the church, believers have gathered together to worship God through singing, studying the Word, and celebrating the Lord’s resurrection. In fact, the day the early church gathered together was called “the ﬁrst day of the week” or “the Lord’s Day” (Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10).
On calendars, Sunday is the ﬁrst day of the week. And for Christians, there are several reasons it is an important day. Hear what my friend and author Dr. Richard Mayhue of The Master’s Seminary believes are good reasons for us as men after God’s heart to participate in corporate worship:
- It provides the only opportunity during the week for the entire ﬂock to hear the heart, mind, and voice of the Senior Shepherd.
- It’s the only day during the week for God’s flock to join their hearts together in uniﬁed worship.
- It’s the only time during the week that the ﬂock can blend their voices together in praise to God.
- It’s the only time during the week to join hands in giving sacriﬁcially to the Lord.
- It’s the only opportunity during the week in which the congregation (both young and old) can have a common shared experience.
- It’s the only time during the week in which the large body can be in a position to encourage and stimulate one another to love and good deeds in accord with Hebrews 10:24-25:13
You and I—as men aspiring to godliness—should be as excited about going to church as David was about his visits to the house of God. Hear again how David, a man who had a heart for worship, expressed his yearning for God’s house. This longing ought to be ours as well:
I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells (Psalm 26:8).
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27:4).
An additional reason church attendance is important is your family. Your wife and children need spiritual stimulation as much as you do! Therefore you must take leadership in this vital area. It’s not your wife’s responsibility to make church attendance happen. It’s your responsibility as a husband and father and the God-ordained spiritual leader of your family. God holds you accountable for nurturing your family’s spiritual needs, and church attendance is a key part of that nurturing.
God did not intend for church attendance to be merely cultural ritual devoid of meaning and joy. He infused the benefits of community interaction and corporate praise into Christian gatherings when He said “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).
If this New Year is the time for you to begin (or return to) gathering with fellow Christians, bring it before the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to guide you to the community where you can both serve and be served… both learn from others and share your own wisdom… and worship the Lord in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
For more encouragement pick up a copy of A Man After God’s Own Heart by Jim George.