Should I go to Church?

For the first time in my life there is a legitimate risk attending church. The risk is not political, legal, or social. It is medical. This is new territory. We have never had to consider going to church a medical threat. In the past we may have chosen to stay home during flu season, but never have we been warned about the danger of being in a crowd like we have over the last two months.

However, people are beginning to leave their living rooms. Stores are open for customers. Restaurant dining rooms will be open in a few days. Employers are calling people back to work and elective surgeries are being scheduled. Little by little, we are beginning to take risks even though the threat has not been completely removed.

Along with these openings comes the opportunity to worship at church. I realize this opening might be scary for some of God’s people. Who would have ever thought someone in the United States who genuinely loves God might have reservations about going to their local church?

For centuries people have chosen whether they will publicly worship God or not. Some have had the privilege of making this choice safely with no threat of harm. Others have had to make the choice under tremendous pressure with the risk of prison, loss of property, or life. One day each person will stand before God and give an account. What makes it strange for us is that we have always been able to choose to worship without any threat. Today—it is different. Today—many who love God may have doubts about worshipping Him at church.

Doubt about returning to church is not a sin. It is a reality of the time in which we find ourselves living. Some people should not come back to church just yet. Others should. Each person must make their own decision. Here are some Biblical guidelines as you make your choice:

  1. Use common sense. If you have a temperature, generally do not feel well, or have an underlying health condition that compromises your immune system, do not attend a public worship service until a later time. No one with these conditions needs divine guidance about attending church. If none of this applies to you, read on…
  2. Ask God if He wants you to attend a public worship service. Give God the freedom to direct you in this decision. Humble yourself before him and don’t assume you already know what you need to do. The Bible tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt.” Once you have done this and God has impressed His will upon you…
  3. Trust God with outcome. Whether God leads you to stay at home or go to church, trust Him. God will not lead everyone to do same thing. I don’t know why. I just know He won’t. We have to be okay with this. He sees and knows things beyond us. Scripture says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Once you trust God with your choice…
  4. Give mercy to those who are still struggling. Don’t let arrogance take over once you have found peace of mind. Many God-loving people around you are weighing the risks of going to church—a choice they thought they would never have to consider. Give them a break. The Bible says it this way, “Have mercy on those who doubt.” Don’t criticize. Don’t shame. Don’t ridicule. Don’t be insensitive. Give them mercy. Give them space to hear from God. Encourage them to follow God. Pray with them. Pray for them. Remind them there is nothing they can do to make God love them less.

Here is a song I’ve been enjoying. May it encourage you.

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