I read somewhere to never start a post with Scripture. I have never understood why. How can beginning a conversation with a word from God be wrong? So, here I go: “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Our family has attended three biblical sound churches in the last 25 years. We are currently at one we love. The gospel message and the teaching of God’s Word is prevalent. We have grown to adore the pastor and his family. We have met some awesome people and made some new friends. We serve in the church and look forward to service each Sunday. In the year it has been publicly opened (it is a church plant), we have missed no more than 5 Sundays total as a family. I’m not bragging here but making the point that we see the value and importance of church in our lives.
To us, church is a vital component to the Christian’s walk. In church, we learn to live as God commands us to. We not only hear this truth in the message given by our pastor but we get to see it in action and are given opportunities to live it out ourselves.
We are exposed to the gospel in teaching and in living. Church is one place we find spiritual filling for our souls. We grow there and find encouragement from fellow believers. In addition, we get to encourage others to a stronger faith in our Lord. We’re reminded “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20) In a church where the gospel is taught and where the children of God humbly strive to live as commanded by the Lord, God is present.
We have seen, in some Christian families, that church is not a priority. It’s more like an “if I feel up to it” approach to attending. Church attendance should not be based on how we “feel” but more on what God says about it. In Exodus 20, we are told to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” This is considered a duty to God and not a choice on our part. As Matthew Henry says, “Neglected duties remain duties still, notwithstanding our neglect.” I believe we need that time of worship and fellowship to grow in our faith and in our walk with the Lord. It should not be neglected.
So, how can we make church a priority?
Let me say right off the bat that illnesses or serious life situations are not being considered here. It is necessary to point out that sometimes church is missed for circumstances that warrant us to stay home or be somewhere else. What I am talking about here is an willingness to miss church just because you want to.
One way to be sure church is on our agenda is to get involved. Sign up to help in areas that fit our strengths. Pray and seek the Lord in this. He will show you where to serve in the church.
Another way not to miss church is to get to know the people you worship alongside with. Simply said: make friends! There is accountability in others knowing who you are and vice versa. I look forward to seeing the congregation and talking with them. We were designed for community. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)
Thirdly, prepare the evening before church. Set out your clothes and your bible. If you know what will be preached on, maybe read ahead the scripture and be ready to receive the message on it. Get your children ready as well and build excitement about going.
Lastly, pray that God would stir an eagerness in you to be at church and among other fellow believers.
If you have not found a bible teaching and Gospel believing church, pray and seek the guidance of the Lord. Ask Him to lead you to the church He has for you. Then, make it an appointment to attend regularly.
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