Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_top position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_bottom position below the menu.

Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_bottom position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_top position below the search.
Elders Corner

Elder’s Corner – (#350) Church Attendance

Few people will argue that church attendance in many churches in America is declining. Most of us have our own ideas why attendance is declining. Many have suggested that our nation is shifting away from its Christian roots, and thus the churches are declining as a smaller proportion of our country are believers in Christ.

I certainly will not argue with that premise. Certainly church attendance decline in America is related to cultural shifts in our nation. But I would also suggest that one reason for declines has a greater impact than others. I’ll get to that later.

First, why is church attendance, or “going to church” important?

The Bible tells us we need to attend church so we can worship God with other believers and be taught His Word for our spiritual growth. The early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). We should follow that example of devotion—and do the same thing. Back then, they had no designated church building, but “every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:46). Wherever the meeting takes place, believers thrive on fellowship with other believers and the teaching of God’s Word.

Church attendance is not just a “good suggestion”; it is God’s will for believers. Hebrews 10:25 says we should “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Even in the early church, some were falling into the bad habit of not meeting with other believers. The author of Hebrews says that’s not the way to go. We need the encouragement that church attendance affords.

Church is the place where believers can love one another (1 John 4:12), encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13), “spur” one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24), serve one another (Galatians 5:13), instruct one another (Romans 15:14), honor one another (Romans 12:10), and be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32).

When a person trusts Jesus Christ for salvation, he or she is made a member of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). For a church body to function properly, all of its “body parts” need to be present and working (1 Corinthians 12:14–20). It’s not enough to just attend a church; we should be involved in some type of ministry to others, using the spiritual gifts God has given us (Ephesians 4:11–13). A believer will never reach full spiritual maturity without having that outlet for his gifts, and we all need the assistance and encouragement of other believers (1 Corinthians 12:21–26).

For these reasons and more, church attendance, participation, and fellowship should be regular aspects of a believer's life. Weekly church attendance is in no sense “required” for believers, but someone who belongs to Christ should have a desire to worship God, receive His Word, and fellowship with other believers.

Now that we see the importance of “going to church”, why don’t people go? I think the answer is simple enough – they don’t think it is necessary for them to go. If we are sick and don’t go to church, no one considers that is bad – in fact others expect it. After all we don’t want to make them sick.  If we go to church 7 times out of 10 opportunities, we feel that we are doing our part and we are “faithful” members. There are times when we just don’t feel like going. We are tired and just not motivated to attend. Maybe a relative or close friend has arrived and we feel “obligated” to stay with them.

Except for the first example above, the excuses are all based on one central figure, ME. We are not thinking of the brothers and sisters who are expecting us to be there. They are eagerly meeting at church to be with their family and you chose not to be there. The fellowship of members suffer. The singing suffers. The service suffers - all because you don’t want to go.  It is all about you. Believe it or not, YOU suffer by not attending. Where is the love for God come in? Where is the love of others come in?

The church service is called “Worship Service” for a reason. God is the focal point of this gathering. It is a time to worship God. That is the purpose! It not about you. It is not about how you feel. It is all about celebrating our love toward God.

New Hope Church of Christ

  • 11025 131st St N
    Largo, Florida 33774
  • (727) 517-7517
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.