However, having said all of that I do think that asking the question how can church help me is a great question to ask. My worry is that is we never ask what church can do for me then church attendance becomes something we do out of habit, tradition or simply to make us feel better rather than something we expect God to use to develop us into the people he intended us to be! So we keep going to meeting without ever really thinking how God can use it to change us or expecting him to use it to change us!
Last week at church I encouraged people to ask the question 'How can church help me to know God better?' I long to know God better and I believe that God can use not only his Bible and his Spirit but also the body of believers to help me do this. I'd encourage everyone to ask themselves this question, think about it and then sit down with someone from the church to talk about how we can make it happen. I'm sure that anyone from the church would be excited and encouraged by a conversation like this.
So I've spent some time thinking about this and here are a few things church could do to help me know God better.
1. Ask me how I'm getting on. I'd love people to ask me how I'm getting on with God at the moment. What I'm reading in the Bible at the moment? How am I praying? How are my relationships with other Christians. I know conversations like this are hard but in my experience God uses these to help me connect with him.
2. Live the gospel in our relationships. The church would help me know God better if in the way we related to each other we demonstrated our love of, and commitment to, the gospel. As relationships within the church show that we think that sin is serious and a terrible thing but that forgiveness is wonderful and freely available, I get to see God and know him better.
3. Talking about the Bible. I love talking about the Bible. I love working to understand it and chatting about what it means for us and whether it makes any difference. I, therefore love opportunities to discuss God's word with other people. By giving me opportunities to do this both formally (in meetings) and informally (in conversations) the church would help me to know God better.
There's a few thoughts from me. I shall continue to think as God continues to use his people to help me know him better!