The other day I overheard someone mockingly ask, “Why do you go to church every week when they just say the same thing over and over?” I confess, as a preacher, that I am something of a broken record. Most of my sermons deal with the Five Solas in some way. (I won’t go into that now. I might write on it in the near future but for now, if you’re unfamiliar with the Five Solas you can get a decent basic explanation here.) Even so, there are very good extra-biblical reasons for believers to make regular church attendance and Bible reading a priority in our lives.
Educators have long understood the importance of repetition. This is true not just in academics but for spiritual growth as well. We’ve all had mountain top experiences and moments of spiritual revelation. We’ve all, subsequently, found ourselves slipping into old patterns of behavior and thought. The whyfor of this could take an entire paper in its own right. Basically, though, we tend to slip back into easy and comfortable ways. We forget these “ah-ha” moments. In the physical world there is a tendency for energy to dissipate and things to break down into ever simple components. The same is true spiritually. It requires regular attention, repetition, and constantly having these truths put before us for them to truly sink in and become part of our spiritual, emotional and psychological DNA. Without constant reminders we find ourselves going off track.
When I was a teenager I went oversees as an exchange student. During my time there I went to church three or four times. Separated from parents who daily inculcated their morals into me, from my church family who encouraged, challenged, and held me accountable, and lacking regular spiritual input, I found my life had taken an unfortunate turn and I realized I’d gone way off track.
So, basically, the repetition, and constant reinforcement and reminding are necessary for our lives if we are to experience consistent growth. Think of it like riding a skate board uphill. Unless we’re constantly kicking off, we’ll start to roll back down hill.