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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Five Ways Skipping Worship is Killing Your Church

The Truth As Far As I Can Tell…
Five Ways Skipping Worship is Killing Your Church

Acts 10:25 – And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

There are tons of things you could do on Sunday besides go to church.  Football games, vacations, competitions, amusements, and many other things beckon us to choose them instead of church.  In addition, there are many Sundays people just want to take a break and stay home.  Perhaps that is why church attendance in our country has declined steadily over the past 30 years.  It might not seem like a big deal to you, but it is hurting you spiritually and it is killing your church.

Here are five ways skipping worship on Sunday is killing your church (and your own spiritual life):

Number one – It makes the worship service less exciting for everyone. 
Your presence in worship is vital because it feeds the whole congregation.  A half-empty sanctuary makes for a dull worship service.  There are fewer voices singing the songs.  The sanctuary feels cold and lifeless.  When you skip church, you are hurting everyone else who needs you to be there as part of the body of Christ (and you are missing out too).

Number two – It discourages your leaders. 
Your pastor probably spent at least 20 hours preparing the message.  The choir director spent a similar amount of time.  The 15-30 choir members spent hours rehearsing.  Then there are other volunteers who prepared for Sunday school, children’s church, who cleaned, who set up the sanctuary, and a number of other responsibilities.  It is disrespectful of their efforts when you choose to skip church and it discourages them.  On the other hand, your full support excites and inspires them to do a great job, which builds momentum and great ministries at your church.

Number three – You lose touch with the life of your church. 
Your church is a vibrant place.  You need to stay active to grow.  You have to know what’s going on to participate.  When you skip, you don’t know what’s going on.  You can try to stay up-to-date through emails, Facebook, and newsletters, but it’s not the same.  If you are absent, you will miss something important.  It only takes one Sunday away and you already begin to drift.  Miss two or more and you are seriously out of the loop.  You better get back to church quick and get plugged in.

Number four – It messes up your priorities. 
Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else…” (Matthew 6:33).  You decide the top priorities of your life by what you spend your time, money, and energy doing.  When you choose the football game (or anything else) over church, you have made a decision about what comes first in your life.  There are thousands of things you could choose besides church, but these won’t bring you closer to the Kingdom of God.  It’s time to be honest about what’s most important to you.  I hope you will seek the Kingdom of God above all else.

Number five – It robs the church of the resources it needs. 
The fact is it takes money to run a church.  Excellent ministry requires excellent staff who need to be paid.  The church building has to be paid for and maintained.  Ministry to the needy requires funding.  Poor attendance leads to poor finances because people who skip usually do not give an offering.  When finances are down, the work of God suffers.

Everyone's situation varies, but--in general--you shouldn't miss more than 5 Sundays per year.  For most people, that should be plenty to account for illness, vacations, and the occasional special situation.  If you are missing more than 5 Sundays per year, you may need to re-evaluate your priorities and decide if your commitment to Christ and His Church are what they need to be.

If you are skipping church, you are helping to kill it.  Perhaps it’s time we look in the mirror and start making some changes.  Of course, I’m no expert and certainly don’t claim to know everything, but that’s the Truth as far as I can tell… 

Remember, God loves you and so do I!