Getting The Most Out of Church

Do you sometimes go to church and feel empty and bored? Or do you feel encouraged and glad you went to Church? Do you prepare to meet God in the sanctuary? Where are your thoughts? In this church series, I am exploring unhealthy beliefs and the path to spiritual fulfillment. My first post covered why we should go to church. In my second post, I explore navigating offenses and how the church prepares you to meet God.

In my last post, you learned that we are saved sinners who are being made holy as God is Holy. Hebrews 12:14 states, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” When we become offended, we often become depressed or contentious, then bitter. Note that verse 14 says that no one will see the Lord without holiness. Becoming holy is the process of transforming sinful thinking with the truth of God’s Word (Romans 12:2).

If you think about it, Heaven is going to be one gigantic eternal church service for all God’s children. So if you don’t like to go to church now, seek God to show you why. Exchange your false beliefs with His truth. One false belief is that the church is there to serve me. The truth in Galatians 5:1 is we are to serve one another in love. You might believe the members are hypocrites. Yes, you are right, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Believers are Jesus’ handiwork and are hopefully transforming wrong thinking by reading their Bibles. I covered how to deal with messy people in my last post. In this post, I want to share how to get the most out of going to church, despite the messy people.

Be one spirit with God to understand the church service.

First, we need to repent of sin, receive God’s forgiveness, and make Him Lord of our lives for the church service to be meaningful. Second, join your spirit with God’s Spirit. We become one spirit with God through believing in Jesus as the Son of God who was sent by God the Father to pay the debt for our sins by shedding His blood on the cross.

1John 4:13 states, “By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” Also, 1John 4:15 says, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” And 1Corinthians 6:17 tells us “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” When we are not one spirit with God, we cannot comprehend God’s Word, and the preaching is meaningless. 1Corinthians 2:11 states, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”

We need a humble, repentant heart to meet God at Church.

I found that church was unfulfilling when I had sin in my life. Remember, sin is anything we think, say, and do that is not obeying God’s instructions. The church is where we go to corporately fellowship with other believers and to learn how to live a holy life that is pleasing to God. Leviticus 19:2 states, “Speak to all the congregation … and say to them, you shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.”

When sin is in our lives, it separates us from God until we confess it and repent. 1John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Unconfessed sin also blocks our prayers and our relationship with God and His people.

Self-centered pride is the most prevalent sin and the one sin we don’t see we have. Sin prevents us from having meaningful relationships because we fear people may confront our sin. So we live a lie that we are righteous, and everything is okay, but God knows the truth. People who refuse to repent when the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin inevitably leave the church. Continuing in our sin is not worth spending eternity in torture, agony, separation from those you love in the lake of fire.

Bring an expectation to hear from God.

Another reason you may find church unfulfilling and boring is because of unmet expectations. Examine your beliefs and ask God to show if your expectations of the church are unrealistic and nonbiblical. You should expect that the Church teaches the Bible and believes the Word of God is truth and that Jesus is the Son of God who shed His blood to pay the penalty of sin.

An example of a nonbiblical church: My husband and I visited a local church and the Pastor had the parishioners call their dead loved ones up to take communion with them. It mortified both my husband and me. The pastor pointed us out and said we can take communion too, but we didn’t move. Have you ever heard of such a thing? True story. We never went back to that church.

I can name many unrealistic expectations people have that leave them disappointed, but ask God to show you the unmet expectations you may have. Many people leave the church because it does not meet their expectations. The church is where we go to

―corporately worship God

―pray with other believers

―hear the word of God to increase our faith

―fellowship with other believers

―and meet the needs of the church body.

The church is not about what the Pastor can do for you, the carpet color, how nice the Pastor’s wife is, and so on.

Prepare to meet God at Church. Where are your thoughts?

Do you only go to church for social interaction? Or do you go to church to hear from God and encourage others in their faith? Do you read your Bible and pray throughout the week to prepare to meet God during the weekly corporate worship time? You may read a Bible Passage God wants you to share with someone to encourage them. Reading the Bible sanctifies you, that is, makes you holy. Jesus tells us in John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”

By praying all the time, you are obeying God’s instructions in Ephesians 6:18 and Romans 12:12. If you are praying at all times, God can drop a person’s name in your mind for you to intercede for them? When you pray all the time, you are not complaining or speaking an unkind word.

What are your thoughts during the week? God wants to be a part of every aspect of your life because someday, we will stand before Him and give an account of the things we did while on the earth. Ask God to reveal unhealthy beliefs about the church that causes you to be disengaged with the service and the people. Romans 1:21 states, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Are you daily giving thanks to God for His love for you and His goodness, and so on? Do you rejoice always about the things God has done and for His promises? Do you think about how you can please God? Our thoughts direct our beliefs and our beliefs direct our feelings. So, if you feel bored or disengaged at church, ask God why.


I hope you found this post helpful and encouraging, though I could have written more. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.  The church is fulfilling when you expect to hear from God, have the right heart attitude, read your Bible and prayed, and are one spirit with God.



How to Pursue and Achieve Godly Character

Relationship and World Changing Kindness


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

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Have you ever been in a snowball fight as a kid or threw little rocks and sticks at each other? It helped to have a trashcan lid to shield and deflect the snowballs or sticks. Maybe you looked for something to hide behind for some relief for a short while until someone found you. In this post, you will learn why you need the shield of faith and when and how to use it.

The problem with spiritual warfare is that we don’t see what is coming in our direction or when it will come. It is safe to assume we will continually fight a spiritual war for our souls. Consequently, we need to stand firm in our faith. Without faith, we are vulnerable to every empty philosophy, temptation, and deception hurled at us. A warrior’s shield is the first layer of protection.

In my last post, I explained that we should expect spiritual war because “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1John 5:19b). The Bible says we need the shield of faith to protect us from the fiery arrows the unseen enemy shoots at us. Ephesians 6:16 states, “In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Because you can’t physically see the invisible flaming darts, you need to keep the shield of faith up. Faith protects you from the following:

  • darts of doubts designed to destroy your convictions and knowledge of the truth;
    • arrows of temptation designed to weaken your resolve to die to sin and to be holy as God is holy;
    • missiles of accusation designed to make you feel insecure, rejected, and worthless;
    • flaming arrows of condemnation for things you have done in the past that would keep you in bondage to shame and guilt. Guilt keeps you in despair and makes you ineffective; and
    • thoughts of failure and rejection.

What is faith?

When I think about faith, I think of a warm, secure, peaceful place for my mind to dwell. In that safe place, I have no worries, fears, anger, and so on. I have peace when I trust God has a purpose and is in control. I trust that He will work everything out for my good because I love Him (Romans 8:28). The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” I could not see how God would work out all the problems I was facing when I became a single mother. But I decided to put my hope in Him and stay tight with Him through prayer and praise. The other choice was to become depressed and angry about how unfair life was. When I put my trust in God and claimed His promises during my divorce, I saw God do many miracles, which strengthened my faith. You can read my story WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION? My Story.

Hebrews 11:6 explains, “And without faith it is impossible to please him [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Though you do not physically see spirits, you can observe the evidence. For example, you can see the destructive force of evil in a person’s life who has yielded to the influence of evil spirits. Peace and life are evidence that a person has yielded their mind and heart to God (Rom. 8:6).

Faith became a shield for me as long as my mind was on the things above where my savior, Jesus Christ, is. Colossians 3:1-2 states, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” When I think about the things on the earth, I become anxious, especially when I watched the news. I feel peaceful and secure when I think of God’s goodness and sovereignty over the affairs of our country and my life.

When I am anxious, I often will recite Psalm 91, then I immediately relax and feel peace, especially at night when my mind can’t stop thinking about life’s worries. You can read the series of posts I wrote on Psalm 91 in Psalm 91 Posts. 2Samuel 22:31, Psalms 18:30, and Proverbs  30:5 states, “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” We take refuge in God through praying, praising, and pondering Scripture.

Faith believes that God will do what He promised He to do. Luke 1:37 states, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Faith is the childlike trust that what God has promised, He will do. You put your spiritual shield of faith into action by claiming God’s faithfulness to keep His promises. See my post about the 15 promises we can trust God to keep. However, the shield of faith is useless if you do not meditate on or memorize God’s Word. As you memorize Scripture and claim God’s promises, you are strengthening your shield of faith so the fiery arrows from the devil cannot penetrate your mind.

Why do we need the shield of faith?

1. The shield of faith protects your mind from deception. Often, people unwittingly put their faith in lies from the devil, such as, “I will never succeed” or “I am not worthy to be loved,” which produces sorrow and many times destructive thoughts. Your faith in Jesus and applying the living water of truth extinguishes the devil’s darts of lies and accusations. The allegations and enticements seem so real that many people believe them and try to build their lives upon them. Satan’s lies are empty and destructive.

2. The shield of faith will strengthen the faith of others who are struggling. People grieving a loss are the most susceptible to spiritual attack? It could be a loss of health, a job, a loved one, and so on. When you are in a community of believers, they can cover you with their shield of faith through prayer and encourage you to keep your hope in God’s promises. Also, Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” The faith of other believers encourages our faith when we are in a battle because their faith helps us stand firm in our faith. For example, when soldiers stand close together and lock their shields together, it forms a barrier against an attack. Do not forsake going to church. Satan will throw all kinds of offenses at you, so you quit going to church, which will weaken your faith to fight the spiritual battle he wages to take your soul.

In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter denied knowing Jesus three times because he was alone and his faith was weak. God’s Word says that Satan comes before God to accuse us. Read Job 1:6-12 to learn how Satan asked permission to test Job’s resolve to fear God and not sin. We will learn more about the power of prayer in the next post.

3. The shield of faith helps you believe in God’s promises. Trials and temptations will cause you to either have faith in God or doubt His promises and mentally dwell in the pit of despair. When trials test our faith, and we resist the temptation to worry or despair, we will become stronger. James 1:2–4 states, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials [temptations] of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness[endurance, patience]. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Three different words describe what testing of our faith produces: steadfastness, endurance, and patience. All are necessary to be victorious in the unseen spiritual battles. For an example read about Paul’s thorn in the flesh in 2Corinthians 12.

  • Steadfastness means firm, fixed, settled, or established, or constant and not changing.
  • Endurance is the ability to last, continue, or remain, or the ability to stand pain, distress, fatigue, etc.
  • Patience is to bear or endure provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Where do we get faith?

First, you need to get the shield of faith from Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 states, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Second, we get faith from reading the Bible. Romans 10:17 states, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.” So, when you study God’s Word and pray daily, your shield of faith is up, and the devil’s arrows bounce off. But when you miss time reading God’s Word and praying, your protection is down, making you vulnerable to Satan’s temptations and lies. You will lose spiritual strength and health when you don’t read your Bible and pray daily.


Daily pray: I take up my shield of faith to block the fiery arrows of condemnation, accusation, temptations, doubts, and flattery of the enemy. I believe that God loves me, cares about me, and is the shield that protects me from evil. I will strengthen my faith by meditating on Scripture day and night. (Eph. 6:16; Rev. 12:9; 1John 3:1; 1Peter 5:7; 2Thes. 3:3; Rom. 10:17)