I got such amazing feedback from readers last week that I decided to do my first sequel to a blog post. It wasn’t just the comments posted in the blog, but the discussions I had on WhatsApp, the telephone and in person. There were so many positive insights and corrections that people wanted to share, that I really thought it best to share them here.
There was general agreement that going to church out of habit, or through a belief that attendance was an end in itself, was increasingly common. However, many readers were keen to point out that the reasons why they and thousands of others attend church were much deeper. These include:
- To meet other believers and encourage each other
- To learn more about their faith and how to apply it to daily living
- To network with like-minded people for friendship and business
- To receive inspiration to continue when things get tough
Some friends in Lagos, while critical of many Pentecostal churches and their prosperity-driven pastors, shared inspiring stories of congregations who awarded lots of university scholarships for bright but needy students and supported business start-ups with equipment, grants and ongoing patronage. It reminded me of my only period of consistent church attendance in Nigeria, when I discovered Calabar City Church.
The attraction was immediate and lasting, because I liked their practical approach to faith and the way they tried to prepare their mostly young congregation for success in a very challenging environment. They were looking outward constantly to support prisoners, the homeless and the poor. And, I loved the way Pastor Tony would focus on a critical topic, like ‘love’ or ‘faith’ for a whole month in a series of talks and study groups – none of the usual “turn to this, now turn to that” style that gives soundbites but little substance or understanding.
When I launched my first book, The More3 Formula, the pastor and his leadership team were incredibly supportive. I made special mid-week presentations to budding entrepreneurs and the church bought copies in bulk for them. If more churches were like this, more communities would see God at work in their midst.
Once again, thanks to readers all over the world who gave feedback – it’s my favourite part of the blogging process. May you continue to see God in other people, as they see Him in you.
11 thoughts on “Where is God? Part 2”
Thanks for sharing Mike, can’t wait to read your next post.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks Bunmi, let’s catch up soon!
Awww. Am honoured. Thank you Michael. We still miss you
LikeLiked by 2 people
Thanks Tony. I miss you all too. Great memories. You are a great example of what ‘church’ is meant to be – a place to learn and grow in all areas of your life, so that you can have an impact on those around you.
Hi Michael, always a pleasure to read from you. Your views on a practical approach to faith are unassailable as they are biblical. I also couldn’t agree more with the four reasons stated above as necessitating regular attendance in church. However, strange as this may sound, it is my belief and understanding that we are commanded and indeed obligated to attend church regularly whenever there is a service! (Heb 10:25 KJV). My two cents.
Hi Eche, welcome back from ‘the abroad’! I hope you had a wonderful time. I think we are in broad agreement but I’m not sure about the ‘commanded’ and ‘obligated’ part. Lol. I took the time to read the whole chapter and it feels more like ‘encouragement’ and ‘advice’. Also, I think it’s good to extract verses 24 and 25 together. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…” I like the way it highlights the reasons for going, rather than the going itself.
Always a pleasure to have your comments and support.
That’s certainly not KJV. I have a reason I stick with KJV but that’s a whole other story lol! I’m glad you took out time to read the verse though and yes, I did have a good time in “the abroad” lol thanks. Look forward to reading more from you again soon. Cheers!
I’m glad to hear that there are churches like Calabar City Church and Daystar and the others that I may not be aware of that do these kind of things.
Yes, all is not lost. Some churches are remaining true to the original mission. Perhaps the tide will turn the other way soon.
It’s indeed exciting to me reading this as I’m also a beneficiary of this life transforming ministry under the leadership of Pastor Tony. Greetings Michael. We still miss you. Cheers
Ah, Edward, my brother. Good to hear from you! Humility in church leadership is quite rare in Nigeria and Pastor Tony is one of the few I know of. Long may he continue.