I heard a story a while ago from a young lady that had visited our church. She said that she attended one of the larger churches in town a few times, but that she didn’t feel welcome there. Plus, during one of their holiday services, they neglected to mention God. “Not once,” she said.”
That got me thinking. It is so easy to talk about the multitudes that do no go to church. Maybe we need to spend more time talking about the foundations of a church that make it worth attending.
I went to a meeting of area worship leaders a couple of months ago, and the lunch topic turned to church attendance. One of the guys spoke of a town nearby that has put up signs that said, in essence, the following: Attend Church Somewhere. He then remarked that he wished they hadn’t put those up, because they give the impression that ANY church is OK, as long as you go faithfully.
I’ve been guilty of being too vague on this point. I used to say to those I visit,
We want you to attend church, even if it isn’t ours.
That was a cute way of stating that churches should partner together and that we are not in competition, but even my cute quip was misleading.
Yes, we do want people to go to church. Lives are changed, souls are saved, and men and women are called to action and experience times of refreshing within the walls of churches. But we need to make clear that any church worth attending is built upon the inerrant Word of God, the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and salvation through His shed blood to the glory of God the Father.
At the same time, we need to be dedicated to the fact that church attendance in and of itself does not save anyone. I’ve heard this argument many times while canvassing door-to-door. “Are you a Christian?” “I attend __________.”
Thoughts? Personal experiences? Share them here.