The dog days have set upon us. We alternate between thunderstorms and record setting heat. Sometimes your breath gets taken away just stepping out of the door. It gets hot this time of year.
This also is kind of a slow down time for the summer. We are in that in between time of going on vacation and getting ready for school. Oh, I know that in a couple of weeks there will be that last push to doing something before school sets in. I was wondering how your church attendance has been.
I don’t know if you know this, but your church is open during the summer. In fact, they probably have worship service at least 52 times a year. Many of our churches are heated and air conditioned. I’m sure there is plenty of seating available. So, how has your attendance been this summer?
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Have you been encouraged to go to church? Have you been encouraging others to go to church?
Personally, I think attending church should be the highest priority of any family. The weekly gathering of fellow believers brings comfort to all of us. It gives us a chance to check in with one another, to share adventures and most of all to worship God together. We are called to worship in community, not in solitary.
Look, I know circumstances can get in the way of corporate worship, but there are ways to mitigate those circumstances. Many of us have gotten in the habit of not going to church. We often look at Sunday as a free day to do what we will. Regardless of whether we call Sunday, Saturday or Wednesday the Lord’s Day, we need to set aside a day that belongs to God. For our church it is Sunday that is the Lord’s Day, and thus we call our members to worship with us.
But to avoid worship is to avoid Christ. To claim you are a Christian and then avoid church is just plain wrong. How can you claim to know Christ if you refuse to develop a relationship with Him and His Kingdom? The Church is part of God’s kingdom and thus we who claim to be followers of Christ need to be there. Attendance isn’t an option, it’s a discipline requirement.
If you are regularly attending church, then start encouraging others to come and share. Everyone needs to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. I have it on good authority that your minister is willing to share the Gospel message. Why not give him or her a chance to share that message of hope? If it will help get others into church, offer them a ride or maybe start a breakfast ministry at church.
The point is we cannot neglect church just because it is inconvenient. Church needs to be the priority, not the afterthought.
Shalom my friends.
See you in church.
Rev. Kent Wilfong is the pastor at the United Methodist Church, Doniphan/Neelyville.