Three Taverns Church

Three Taverns 2.0: Reasons People Go To “Church”

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Why do people go to church, or temple, or synagogue, or any other house of worship? This is the first question I need to answer in my efforts to re-launch Three Taverns Church; below is the process I’m trying to follow:

  1. Determine the Reasons people go to “church”
  2. List the vast number of ways people throughout history have demonstrated these Reasons
  3. Define the minimum set of beliefs or dogma necessary to Christianity
  4. Compare the list of Reasons to the minimum Christian dogma and see what sticks

I polled my friends on Facebook in a completely unscientific study and got great feedback from a broad spectrum of faithful including Mormons, Evangelical Christians, Muslims, and others. After synthesizing their comments with my own observations I came up with the list below. You’ll notice some overlap between each primary Reason, particularly with regard to social roles.

Please take a moment and read through these short lists. Am I missing anything? Do you see your own reasons for going to “church” reflected here? Which bullet points relate most to you? What do you think that means?

Reason #1: To Connect With Other Believers

  • Be reassured of validity of belief system
  • Social roles confirmed*
  • Experiential — Feel “energy” of others’ faith
  • Display & experience love and friendship

Reason #2: To Worship God/Gods

  • Religious obligation/duty
  • Experiential — Feel God’s “presence”
  • Social bonding with other believers*
  • Reconfirm belief system
  • Fun or enjoyment of the process

Reason #3: To Learn

  • From a leader/pastor/priest/Imam/etc.
  • From other believers through sharing and storytelling
  • Through modeled behavior of other members*
  • Through reading of sacred texts
  • Reconfirm belief system

Reason #4: To Serve

  • Service to God(s) and people, usually other believers
  • May be obligatory*
  • Live out tenets of faith
  • Fulfill social roles*
  • Reinforce egoic values, “prove” faith

Reason #5: To Fulfill Social Roles & Obligations

  • See *starred* bullets above
  • To advance personal agenda
  • For some, “church” may be primarily social event, religious/spiritual event secondary

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