One single issue in the church has become increasingly prominent in this still new 21st century. It’s the issue of regular weekend worship. For the purposes of this post we’ll define “regular worship” as attending a church service three to four times per month. In my very limited experience (the viewpoint of one congregation), the number of people living up to this definition is fewer and further between. But it appears that my experience isn’t unique.
Here’s one opinion. When you are a member of a congregation, and you miss church, it’s not just about you. There are people who need you and miss you.
There are at least five reasons we miss you when you’re not in church:
- Our church family is not complete. Church is a family that is not connected by human blood, but by the blood of Jesus. In some ways, we are closer than our human family. We are a forever family. When one or more of us are missing we are, in a very real way, incomplete.
- Our song isn’t quite as strong. Music is an integral part of worship. Even in heaven. But on earth our song isn’t quite as strong when voices are missing. What should be full-throated praise ends up sounding much more like a whimper.
- Our financial stewardship is weakened. It’s been shown that when people don’t attend church they aren’t likely to make their regular donation. When people are in church they are far more likely to make a donation of some kind. They are moved to give by the preaching and power of God’s Word. When churches struggle with their bills there is ministry that fails to be accomplished.
- Our pews and seats are empty. You might wonder why this matters. “OK…so there are some empty seats.” But think of the guest who walks into the church and wonders where everyone is. There’s a good chance they might not return. People like to be a part of things that are on the upward swing.
- Our gifts and talents fall short. When we don’t all join together for weekend worship we don’t have all of our gifts and talents in one place. Just think of the opportunities that might be missed. It might go something like this: You’re an idea person and I work well with my hands. You come up with an idea to build a brand new baptismal font. I have the ability to build it. But if we aren’t together in church to make a connection between the two of us this beautiful piece of art will never happen.
See what we miss when you’re not there? We miss you. And you are an important part of who we are as God’s people.
We’ll see you in church this Sunday, OK?