Dear Younger Me,
I want to write to you about church today, to encourage you of the importance not just of going to church, but of being an active part of the church. I know you understand this just now, but it’s crucial that you persevere in this.
“Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25 NLT)
As you get older, the culture around you is going to grow increasingly hostile to God’s truth, and so it’s vital that you continue to gather with other Christians for encouragement and support, and to know that you’re not alone.
This is not always going to be easy. The church is full of broken people after all, so some ups and downs are only to be expected, but I have to be honest – it will get worse than you think.
You’ll be badly hurt by someone you consider a friend; there will be days when you come home from church aching from stress. You will be badly treated at times, and there will be occasions when you feel overlooked, undervalued, and ignored.
The idea of sticking with Jesus but dispensing with church will seem quite attractive at times.
But here’s the thing – as Christians we are part of the body of Christ. It’s not something we can do in isolation. However much it hurts at times, you need others and they need you. You must continue gathering together.
One day you will get the opportunity to help start a brand-new church. Everything in you will resist it at first, but when you step out in faith you will find it is one of the best decisions you ever make.
You will find a place where you fit, you will receive the encouragement you need, you will learn to trust, to open up… You will see how amazing church can be, and it will be a genuine pleasure to gather together.
So don’t give up. There will be some challenges ahead, but if you persevere good things will come, and you’ll be glad you did!
This post is part of “Dear Younger Me…” – a series for Write 31 Days in October 2019.
Each day I am basing my writing on the one-word prompt provided. Today the prompt is “gather.” You can find an introduction to the series and an index of all the posts here, and you can find out more about the challenge and check out other people’s series here.