Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.
– Hebrews 10:24-25 (NCV)
I happened to read an article that one of my friends on Facebook liked. It was titled “On Leaving Church.” It was written by Bill Muehlenberg and it got me to thinking about why I attend church. You can read the article HERE.
I personally believe that God places us in certain places – like in a church. I also believe that there are not too many reasons why a person or family should leave a church. Of course if you move to a different city that’s a good reason, but I don’t believe in going from one church to another because you’re mad or offended by someone in the church you’ve been attending for years.
There’s a good chance if you leave a church because you’re offended by someone or something, the same thing will happen at the “new” church when the newness wears off. People should always attempt to work out any offenses and try to make their relationship work. Attending church is a relationship – it’s give and take. It takes communication and love to make it work.
I have been attending the same church for about 20 years. Have I ever been tempted to leave for another church? Yes, many times. The fact is I have been tempted to just quit going to church altogether more than I have been tempted to change churches.
The article started with this paragraph:
There are many Christians who have stopped going to church. They have not given up on God, have not renounced their faith, have not denied Christ, and have not become pagans. They simply are no longer going to church. That this is happening is not a matter of doubt, but why this is happening is in fact a difficult question to answer.
One of the points made in the article was that people attending church just want to worship Jesus and encourage one another without all the worldly rigmarole.
Frankly, I like some of the worldly rigmarole. For example, I like it when technology is used in my church to better deliver the message. It has to work, though.
So are we heading for a time in our lives when we just sit at our computers on Sunday morning and watch a sermon and listen to some worship music?
Maybe for some, but I think God wants us out there fighting through the crowds at the front door on Sunday morning to get to our favorite seat (and then finding that someone is already in it). He wants us sitting there for an hour and a half to hear his word even if the sound is not too clear and the video announcements don’t work and even if the sermon notes are not loaded on the YouVersion Live Event page.
God may be using it to help build our patience, too.
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