Summary: A sermon explaining why attending every possible service is almost a mandatory thing: Not just for the church, but for ourselves, other believers, and for the community as well.
I have spent many years in many churches. Many times I sat as a member of the congregation, having the same viewpoint and expectations as most of you have. And then there were many times I saw something quite different than what you see each week.
For many years, I saw the church body through the eyes of a pastor. Let me tell you it is quite different. And there is something I have noticed in every church I attended.
There are those who make a concerted effort to attend every possible service. These people are considered the “core” of the church and can be counted on for their attendance; their time; and even in their tithes.
I have also noticed in each church that there are those who do not make any effort to attend more than once per week. These people will find other things to do that will keep them out of church, and these people are less committed to the church in their time; attendance; and tithes. These people are considered the “community”, as they are more involved in their community than they are their church.
So the question comes to mind; “Does attending church really make a difference, and if so, to whom?”
I am of the opinion that is makes a very real difference to everyone. It makes a difference to the individual involved; to the church that could use more of their talents; to the community who they could become another shining light; and even to God and His desire that we all become doers of the word rather than just listeners.
I think every Christian is obligated to attend every regular service unless something unforeseen keeps them from it.
1. GOD COMMANDS US TO ATTEND CHURCH
Many people go to church once per week, and claim they are committed to the church. In my opinion, a person cannot be committed to the church unless they are willing to be at the church - and that means more than once per week. Many people are very lukewarm in their feelings toward the church, and therefore, they are lukewarm in their association with Christ.
If we are serious about Christ, we should also be serious about doing what He tells us to do.
In HEBREWS 10:25, we read –
‘Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’
In this one verse, we are warned to not stop meeting with other Christians. There are some who will only sacrifice enough of their time to attend one service per week. Once that person gets into a habit of forsaking another meeting, it becomes easier to not attend other church functions.
Have you ever noticed how long one hour in church is, but how short it is when watching your favorite movie? And how thrilling it is when a ballgame goes into extra innings, but how agitating it is when the service goes five minutes longer than usual?
Did you know that most people who have fallen away from going to church have done so, not because they were let down or hurt while going to church, but they gradually started missing services until they finally saw it too difficult to go at all?
God knows that every time you attend a service, you are giving up something else. You give up sleeping late to be here Sunday morning. You might also be giving up a good fishing trip with the guys, or seeing a particular football game that is on during the time of service.
For the Sunday evening service, you might be giving up washing the car, or that favorite TV show, or the time to just sit and relax after a hard weekend.
You want something from God, don’t you? You want Him to keep you safe for eternity. So, how would you feel if he told you He was just too busy to pay attention to your needs, and that He was more interested in other people than He was in you? Would that make you feel very bad? I am sure it would.
But, what kind of message are many of us sending to God each week? We don’t want to be inconvenienced enough to attend more than one service per week and we sure don’t want to feel obligated to serve the church, either in time, talent, or money.
How do you think that makes God feel? That must hurt Him very much. After all, He loves you enough to have sacrificed His Son for us, and He thinks the least we can do is love His Son enough to sacrifice a little time for Him.
There was a choir director who was angry because choir members were not dedicated to attending all the rehearsals. Finally, one Wednesday night at rehearsal, he said he wanted to thank the piano player, as she was the only one who faithfully attended every rehearsal.