I had a great time meeting Don Novack this morning. Don is a church planter in Amarillo and is heavily involved with Christmas in Action. We talked a lot about faith, churches, and some of the spiritual make up of the area. I always knew that there was a higher percentage of folks who attend Sunday morning worship services here than in other parts of the US and Europe. But it was also interesting to see that no matter where you go, you’ll still find folks who claim the name of Christ, but only attend worship gatherings once or twice a year. Is the whole “going to church” thing just a personal preference, or is there something more to it?
Yes, I know that there are some ultra “religious” people who are at a church building or function every time the door is open yet their inner lives are harnessed with a chain of legalism. On the other end of the pendulum, there are folks who claim their “freedom” in Christ and only show up for gatherings whenever it “feels” right. The truth however seems to be someplace in the middle of these two.
We do see from Hebrews 10:25 that the author exhorts us to, “not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” So this whole church attendance thing is something we do need to seriously look at.
One of the things I really loved about the five years we lived in Nor. Cal. was the refreshing sense of freedom in the Christian life. The Kingdom of God is so much more than a list of do’s and don’ts. Jesus died for more than that. But yet we are called to live for others and not ourselves. So it would seem from Hebrews that if nothing else, one of the reasons why we crawl out of bed on Sunday morning is to encourage others. Believe me, there have been times in my life that I have not wanted to go to Church because I’ve been exhausted, and I’m a preacher. But what I’ve found is that when I get there for others, I’m always glad I did and someone else is blessed. How do you feel about church attendance? Where are you at on the question?
Good stuff Leo. I think a huge issue is so many times folks look at “church” with the mentality of, “What’s in it for me?” instead of, what can I do for God and others.
Oh yea, it is very important to go to Church, but what are you doing? There is so much more to it, I think if it were just a matter of just going…more people would go. But, so many are afraid of so many different things they may face at Church? How they are looked at? Will they be accepted? Am I worthy? Do these people really care? Church is a great thing, but it can also be a very scary thing to the one who is a non believer looking for answers. Let us all try to do better, be better, encourage one another and love each other as God has loved us! Don’t take Church for granted…The next time you go, walk up to someone you don’t normally talk with, or someone who is visiting and tell them you love them and that you are glad to see them there!! The believer also needs to be encouraged just at the non believer! God’s love is deep. Help show His love!