We Need Church – by Stephanie Dixon

It’s Sunday Morning. My husband has left the house early so he can get in line at the doughnut shop drive through to quickly pick up some doughnuts for the Worship team and media crew at church. He has become the “unofficial” Sunday Morning doughnut picker upper in the midst of this crazy pandemic, because even in the middle of a pandemic you still need your Sunday Morning doughnut.
The moment he heads out the door I quickly go over the list I keep in my head of things that need to happen in order to get me and three small children ready and out the door in order to make it to church on time, or if I’m being honest in enough time to only miss one worship song… Feed the baby, change the baby, get everyone’s clothes picked out, and wrinkle free, get everyone dressed or at least tell my 5 year old what seems like 10 million times to put the clothes on that I have laid out on the bed for him, “Oh and don’t forget to put on your clean underwear…” Prepare bottles to bring with me, prepare a “church bag” filled with coloring books, crayons and small toys to keep my 2 year old busy and quiet during the service. Also in the midst of all of these things somehow manage to get myself dressed and ready to head out the door. Once everyone is ready to go we make the trip to the van where again, feels like it takes an eternity to get everyone buckled in and ready to drive away. By the time we get to church I think it’s safe to say I’m tired, exhausted even, and the wrestle of keeping everyone happy, quiet, and busy during the service hasn’t even begun.
Now why in world would a new mom of three ever go to these lengths to go to church in the middle of a pandemic where there are no children’s classes or childcare? Because we need it- my children need the church. More than ever I want my children to see exactly why we make staying connected to the church a priority. I want them to see that while this world is crazy, uncertain, uncontrollable, and pretty scary some days, that church is a place where we can find hope, growth and purpose.

 Hope
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” –Ephesians 3:20-21

More than ever I want my children to feel the hope that we have in Jesus, and what better way than to gather together with other believers who know that same hope. The world around us might feel dark, and scary but we don’t have to be afraid, for we know and serve the God who is in control and that same God is worthy of all of our worship and praise. For when we come together as the body of Christ to magnify the name of Jesus through corporate worship, the light of Christ pierces through the darkness and we are filled with the hope we have in Christ.

 Growth
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25

The church helps us grow. It’s an enormous tool that God has given to help us in our sanctification as a believer. When we connect with the body of believers we will no doubt see spiritual fruit begin to grow as we receive encouragement, accountability, and are spiritually fed through the preaching and teaching of the Word. I want my children to experience that for themselves and I want them to see that in me. For more than anything I want to come out of this season of life loving God more and looking more like Him. So whether it’s in person or through a computer screen it’s so very important to stay connected to the church.

 Purpose
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” – John 17:20-23

Nothing feels normal anymore. Almost every single thing in our daily lives have been turned upside down in some way or another causing us to change the way we do things and find our “new normal.” But in the midst of this chaos the purpose of the church is still the same- to glorify Christ and make His name known. The world is looking at the church to see how we will respond in all of this and we have to show the world that Christ is the answer. He is the way, the truth, and the life. When we come together as the church, God’s glory is on display for all to see. It is my hope that my children will see the glory of God through the church and will in turn put their hope in Christ as well as be a living example of the love of Christ to the world.

We need the church. My children need the church. So whether you are like me with busy littles ones, or have teenagers, or maybe your children are grown with families of their own, let us not give up on church. Let’s stay connected. Let’s make church a priority. For now more than ever we need the church.

By Stephanie Dixon
September 2, 2020