“… when iíve been in a church environment in which iíve not agreed with the teaching it was fun to critique my thoughts and challenge myself as to whether i was just being disagreeable and what i really thought. Having been in a teaching environment for the last yr where i have found myself not only agreeing with much that is taught but finding that actually leads to me wanting to change, to discovering new ways of seeing God, myself, the world and doing something different in response.
…Iíve not really noticed before as to how helpful a regular rhythm it is to go to church. Church for me before has always been about experience – to learn something or to encounter God, to be prayed for, to socialise etc. These are all good things but most helpful is the space i have at least once a week in my otherwise me dominated routine to go and do something that doesnít immediately give me a buzz. To have space and time to spend orientating my life around God is a precious gift and to do that in a communal setting and here about how God is doing things in the lives of others and what others are doing for God just strengthens that space.
… iíve not quite realsied how serving others is a spiritual practice which means iím more likely to be generous/kind/thoughtful/ in moments outside of church. What iíve found most encouraging is connecting how the things i do help other people, i guess its not twigged before, service was a duty and now it feels more like a pleasure.
… Being able to have church which acts as a place to gather, share, practice, learn, together aids missionary life. Without somewhere to gather and do life together i seriously believe the mission of Godís people starts to flag. Church is not just about sunday, itís one part of the life of the church but that life is helped by gathering in small and large groups to share Godís story with each other and support and encourage each other to live out a christian life.”
– Paul Mayers, Rediscovering my churchianity – a recant ūüôā
What a wonderful question: “So what do you find helpful/encouraging about church?“