I read this post by Kevin DeYoung a long time ago and thought I would call my readers’ attention to it. It isn’t about the unchurched or the anti-churched, but the semi-churched folks within our local congregations.
Kevin DeYoung writes:
I want to talk about church members who attend their home church with great irregularity. These aren’t unchurched folks, or de-churched, or under-churched. They are semi-churched. They show up some of the time, but not every week. They are on again/off again, in and out, here on Sunday and gone for two. That’s the scandal of the semi-churched…
We’ve had Christmas and Easter Christians for probably as long as we’ve had Christmas and Easter. Some people will always be intermittent with their church attendance. I’m not talking about nominal Christians who wander into church once or twice a year. I’m talking about people who went through the trouble of joining a church, like their church, have no particular beef with the church, and still only darken its doors once or twice a month…
I know we are the church and don’t go to church (blah, blah, blah), but being persnickety about our language doesn’t change the exhortation of Hebrews 10:25. We should not neglect to meet together, as some are in the habit of doing. Gathering every Lord’s Day with our church family is one of the pillars of mature Christianity.
DeYoung then offers five questions for all of us to ask as we examine our practice of gathering with God’s people. I have included the questions but have only included parts of his explanation. To hear each of his points in full, click here to his article.
1. Have you established church going as an inviolable habit in your family? You know how you wake up in the morning and think “maybe I’ll go on a run today” or “maybe I’ll make french toast this morning”? That’s not what church attendance should be like.
2. Do you plan ahead on Saturday so you can make church a priority on Sunday? We are all busy people, so it can be hard to get to church, especially with a house full of kids. We will never make the most of our Sundays unless we prepare for them on Saturday.
3. Do you order your travel plans so as to minimize being gone from your church on Sunday? It’s almost impossible to grow in love for your church and minister effectively in your church if you are regularly not there.
4. Are you willing to make sacrifices to gather with God’s people for worship every Sunday?
5. Have you considered that you may not be a Christian? Does going to church every week make you a Christian? Absolutely not. Does missing church 35 Sundays a year make you a non-Christian? It does beg the question. God’s people love to be with God’s people.
I hope this helps those who have an irregular church attendance to ask the right questions and truly look at themselves with the mirror of God’s Word for the right answers. Read the whole post here.