Why Should I Attend Church? It Makes You More Resilient

Presented at Curwensville Alliance Church on 6/10/2018 by Pastor Steve Shields

From the series, Tools for Resilience

When I was a kid, I took guitar lessons every Thursday night. Mrs. Crate required I discipline myself to practice – every day.

And that’s all I could see. The drudgery of practice.

The songs she taught me didn’t help. Go Tell Aunt Roadie, On Top of Old Smoky, Red River Valley…. Drudgery.

And the lesson time wasn’t a real treat. Lectures on better fingering and callous development. Drudgery.

Learning guitar required discipline on my part.

Discipline without direction is drudgery.

When I went to college, something happened. I had a roommate who played the guitar. I mentioned that I always wanted to play, and he said, “I’ll teach you.”

I said, “That will be drudgery.”

He said, “No, it won’t. I’ll teach you well enough that you can make a tape and send it to Laurel.”

Suddenly, I saw purpose in the discipline. I had a direction: Learn to play well enough to play for your girlfriend!

And I learned to play.

Seeing myself playing the guitar on the back porch for Laurel – that was a direction I wanted to head.

My roommate gave me a direction that took away the drudgery.

I wish I could do that for you, in terms of corporate worship. I wish I could help you see yourself after a decade of prioritizing corporate worship.

I can’t do that, but you can.

Look at Christians whose faith you admire. You can have that.

Look at that man of prayer you wish you were like. You can be that guy.

Look at that person who walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death without fear. You can do that.

Look at that woman whose children respect and admire her. You can be her.

Part of making that happen is prioritizing corporate worship.

This podcast talks about how we can do this.

Jesus Tears Down the Wall of Hostility

How would your life be different if there were no Jesus? If you’re a Christian, you know that the answer to that question is sobering. If you’re not a Christian, your life would be very different if there were no Jesus — you probably just aren’t aware of it.

If you lived in Ephesus 2000 years ago, and you heard the news — that God’s Son had come to die for us and forgive those who place their faith in Him — you knew that Jesus made all the difference in the world.

In Ephesians 2:11-22, the Apostle Paul speaks to the people of Ephesus, explaining to them that they are now part of God’s family. “The dividing wall of hostility” has been removed.

This podcast  reminds us of the difference Christ makes in our lives and, at the end, this podcast invites you to experience that difference firsthand.

Does Religion always cause Wars?

If you read some bloggers and their comments, you might begin to think that religions are the sole cause of war. Miec Pearse, in The Gods of War addresses this issue thoroughly and intelligently. I don’t know that I’ve ever read one more acquainted with world history than Pearse.  He begins chapter three with these words:

Although much of the history of Christian churches is disgraceful in that their creeds have been stained by bloodshed and spread by violence, the churches did not begin that way. For the first three centuries of its life, the faith of the Prince of Peace was spread entirely by pacific means, usually in the face of violent persecution.
~Meic Pearse in The Gods of War, Intervarsity Press, 2007. p. 58.

Get the book and take a read. You’ll find it refreshingly enlightening — especially if you’ve spent any time reading some of the anti-religious web sites or watching some of the pop-corn cable news.