Why Attend Church Regularly?
I just read a thought-provoking article by Thom Rainer and wanted to share a few of my own thoughts with you. Please don’t take this as critical or harsh. I share it only because I want you to love coming to church and spending time with our FBC family as much as I do!
This year, we have been blessed with more guests and greater attendance than ever. I am so thankful for those of you inviting family, neighbors and co-workers to join us for worship. But after reading this article, it caused me to wonder about our up and down attendance. We’ve had weeks with an unexpected almost full house followed by a sharp drop and empty seats like the picture above.
If you are newer to FBC and coming to church regularly is not something you are used to doing, I encourage you to come as often as you can. I trust you will see the benefits and want to keep coming back. The article I read was more focused on church members who dropped off and just didn’t attend as often.
Rainer’s research shows that the typical church has over half of the members only attending one out of four weeks. I think we are doing much better than that, but there appears to be several growing trends that lessen the importance of regular worship and fellowship. The five bold trend statements below are from his article with my thoughts interjected.
1. We fail to see that the local church is God’s plan A to do his mission on earth, and that he has no plan B.
God called the church to be the focus of our worship, growth, and service. On-line services and podcasts are great, but they can’t replace the local church family. The church is God’s plan for ministry to reach our community. There is no Plan B!
2. We embrace the false notion that commitment to a local church is legalistic.
Coming to church and participating with other believers is God’s commandment. Your salvation doesn’t depend on it, but your growth and health as a follower of Jesus Christ do!
3. We let culture dictate our schedules.
When sports, family time, or extra hours at work take precedence over weekly worship we are showing ourselves and our families what our priorities are. We are called to love the Lord our God with ALL.
4. We accept strawman arguments about gathering at our local church.
Yes, we can connect with believers in a number of ways, but Scripture clearly tells us that we encourage one another and grow when we gather together. (Hebrews 10:25) Jesus founded the church and created the model for His followers to make disciples, teach the faith, and continue to grow in a community of other brothers and sisters.
5. We see church as a place to be served rather than to serve.
When we focus on our own preferences we miss the joy of serving others and sharing the Gospel through worship. Remember, church is supposed to be more like a light house rescue station than a country club.
Take stock of your own life and your choices.
How many Sundays have you been with us in the past month or two? Is worshipping, growing, and sharing with your local church a priority or something good to do when nothing else is going on. You encourage others by being faithful and there is great joy in serving.
If you are tired of coming and sitting at church without getting involved, stop by the Welcome Center to see where you might start serving or connecting with a growth group or Bible study.
Our mission is to develop missionary disciples who worship God, grow spiritually, and share the Gospel and their spiritual gifts through the church.
Pastor Mark Massaro
P.S. You can read the original article HERE.