When Joshua and I were first married, we missed a lot of church. We would find some decent excuse as to why it was okay. Sometimes we'd oversleep, we wouldn't feel well (but we felt well enough to do other things), or I (being very lost at the time) would just outright admit that I didn't want to be there.
Okay, so it wasn't just when we first got married.
It was when things got hard and we didn't feel like being there. Or when there was someone we wanted to avoid. Or when I was depressed and just couldn't shake it enough to go.
Last Sunday evening we were in that place again and we were facing that decision. We had overslept and it was ten minutes until church started. We said, Well, by the time we get there, church will be halfway over.
Buuut, God has been doing a work in our little family for quite some time. After the baby was born, we missed quite a bit because being new parents was difficult and exhausting. However, we got to the point where we just had to get up and go without giving it too much thought. (We actually made it to Sunday School last week, which was wonderful! We plan on getting back in that again, as we feel that is just as important!)
We have seen our elders come to church sick, sad, depressed ... we saw them fighting their worst battles, but they still went to church. & They always left blessed. Thank God for their influence, because it has really impacted our lives.
So, this blog isn't going to be a condescending preachy little rant about why you need to go to church. I also understand that there are times when we are really sick or our kids are really sick and we have to miss. I'm just sharing from my experience why I don't like missing it.
1. I always miss something good. 8:00pm rolls around and everyone on Facebook says - Man that was an awesome sermon! Or Someone got saved tonight! I then realize my selfish reason for not wanting to go cost me a great service or being able to see someone saved. I miss blessings.
2. I am a bad influence. If I can look at others in the church and see that this or that person goes or doesn't go, then the same is done with me. People need to see that I take God and His ministry seriously, because maybe that will encourage them to do the same.
3. Church attendance keeps the church together. A church isn't kept together by the Pastor. A church needs a Pastor, but the people are what makes up the body. If we are so apathetic about church that we don't even come, how do we expect it to stay together? & How do we expect it to stay effective for the Lord? No one wants to come to a church where there is no one there to greet them. (For instance, if we all coincidentally decide we don't feel like being there, who is going to be there to greet the lost person who randomly decides to come to church that day? Get what I'm sayin'?)
4. My daughter wont think it's important. I don't want it to ever be an option in our home for our daughter to ask if we're going to church on Sunday. I want it to be understood. We can't instill the significance of it if we aren't consistent in being there.
5. Revival cannot happen without the members of the church desiring it. And so do you really think if you're missing church that you are wanting revival? Just sayin'.
6. I'll have a poor testimony. One of the first things a person who is lost will tell you about a Christian is that they go to church. Missing church makes me look like a hypocrite.
7. I am missing out on the opportunity to hear God's Word. True, I can read it for myself or listen to sermons online. & Those are good things to do! But there is nothing like hearing good preaching from the Word of God in a service where God's Spirit is really moving.
8. I am taking my church for granted. So often times I think to myself that it'll be there next week and that we'll be all good. Religious freedom, however, is a privelege that many do not have and at any time it could be taken from me. Also, the church could fall apart. & It is apathetic attitudes like my own that are the cause of that.
As a good friend of ours always says, he's always sorry for missing, but he is never sorry for being there.
Now, like I said, this isn't a preachy post for me to tell everyone else what to do. These are things God has really dealt with me about since I accepted Him into my life. & As you've read, I'm still not perfect. I still have my Sundays where I think - Mann this weekend flew by fast, maybe just this once?
However, I also realize God holds me to a higher standard than that. I've got a daughter who watches me, I have younger girls in the church who are watching, and a community of people who need to see my desire for the Lord. If I ever want to see the church make a difference in the community or the nation, I have to be the one of many who step up and keep going.
Church is important, friends!
Oh and to finish my story about last Sunday night, we did end up making it. & It was a great sermon! I am glad we got up and went!