“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Jesus – Acts 20:35)
If we’ve heard it once… we’ve heard it a hundred times: “I just don’t get anything out of church.” Or “church doesn’t meet my needs.” Or (for those who want to sound just a little more ‘spiritual’) “I’m just not being fed.”
These words (and the very real sentiment behind them) points out a major flaw in our approach to church – and our thinking behind why we go in the first place.
God designed the Church to be a place where we can receive, yes – but He designed it primarily to be a place where we can give. Of our talents. Of our resources. And most importantly, of our spiritual giftings.
The foundation for going to church is spelled out for us in the Bible…
In short, church is meant to be a place of active participation, and not a place of passive spectation. In many respects, church is the field, where the game is played – not the stands where the fans come to be entertained, informed, or inspired.
The fundamental basis for attending church (and being actively involved in ministering to others) is found in Our Lord Jesus Himself. He told us plainly: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve – and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:28)
Jesus should have been worshiped. Jesus should have been served. He deserved both our worship and our service. But He laid aside what He should have been entitled to receive so that He could give of Himself to those who had needs.
Jesus came. He saw. He served. He gave.
And taught us something vitally important… “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (taught by Jesus – Acts 20:35) It is the odd, but sensible, dichotomy of the Kingdom of God… those who are consumed with giving and serving are actually those who receive an abundance, in return, and are honored by the Most High.
Jesus put it this way:
The more we look at what the Bible says about “going to church” the more we realize that nearly all the emphasis is on bringing something to give – so we can each be a blessing to those around us. And if everyone gives… everyone receives!
Now, I realize that this may be more difficult for us (in how most of us “do” church today) but wherever God’s people are gathered… there are needs, there are struggles, there are situations.
And the Church was designed as God’s way of openly and actively meeting those needs, lifting those struggles, and stepping into those situations with His love and power.
At the heart of The Church is people, surrendered to God, humbled in service, and eager to reach out and give of themselves so that everybody can receive, be strengthened, and grow in grace.
I have never heard anyone who was selflessly giving of themselves ever complain about not having their needs met.
In the end, if we truly want to “get something” out of going to church… we must be committed to give!