June 21, 2006

Church Attendance

Church membership rolls will mean nothing to God when we stand before him. What will matter is what you allowed him to do though you for the betterment of others and for his kingdom.

I've known a variety of church members that hold differing attitudes and opinions on what "attending church" really means.

1.There are the die-hard church-goers who believe that missing church is closely if not definitely linked to willful sin. These people tend to take a mental roll-call among their members when service starts.

2. There are the holiday church goers. These people will attend a service during the Easter or Christmas holidays.

3. There are the regular attendees who never miss a service. When the church door is open - they are there, but these people don't take roll-call.

4. There are the hit and miss church goers. When they are able to attend and want to be there, they will show up.

I would categorize myself as being in the 4th group. If there isn't something pressing and I want to be there, you'll see me.

One of my long held pet peeves is the attitude of the judgmental church-goer of category #1.

These people believe that there is absolutely NO reason to ever miss a church service. If you're a hit or miss member like me, these people will flit around you like butterflies, tossing queries at you at lightning speed on "where you were last Sunday morning"!

Now that is fine, if they are truly interested in knowing where you were or what you were doing. But sadly, many only ask this question to bring it to your attention that you WERE NOT WHERE YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN. - PARKED IN PEW 3. It's enough to cause a person to bail out altogether from attending church. And they believe they're doing you a favor by reminding you of your absence.

Earlier in my walk with the Lord, I took offense at this behavior, but I don't now.

I believe it's because I've grown older and wiser.

I view it like this - The judgmental church-goer wouldn't look down their nose at me - the hit and miss church-goer if they knew what I was doing last Sunday morning like "taking care of my elderly relative" or "nursing a bad case of the flu".

I don't fret because God sees all, especially what the nosy church-goer of category #1 is oblivious to.

Don't be offended by these people. Just let it go and know that God understands it.

What do I believe about Church attendance?
I believe that if you are able to go (there is not something more pressing that keeps you from it), you should go.

But as I've said repeatedly on my site, make sure you go to a church that makes the truth (God's word) it's top priority. If it doesn't, going will be a waste of your time.

What is more important than attending church?

Having a relationship with God everyday of your life. Living your life with God and for God in your home and around those you see everyday.

It's very easy to go to church, sing hymns, smile and says "amen". It's harder but of much more worth and beneficial for you to walk in the truth seven days a week. God would rather you live in truth every day.

I believe that attending church is a good thing, but it is not the only thing.

And it certainly shouldn't be placed above your own personal relationship with god.

I go to the house of God (the local church), to partake of his word and to pray for and encourage fellow members.

I do this because I love God and I love those he has created - my brothers and sisters.

Encouraging one another through the struggles and pitfalls of life is a key reason for us to attend church.

There are personal benefits to this as well. I notice that I have a better outlook and feel better about all situations in my own life when I can encourage another.

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