I want to ask you a few questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. I know, it sounds weird but I would like for you to answer them to yourself. Since no one else will know how you answer, be honest with yourself. Why did you go to church today? No, I don’t want a theological answer or seven Bible verses on the importance of church attendance. I mean why did you personally come to church? What did you expect to accomplish by attending a church service today? What was your motivation to be here? Careful now, don’t just plug in a text book answer that you’ve programmed to say through years of sermons on church attendance.
Allow me to offer some potential answers some of you may have thought. It’s Sunday and that’s what I have always done. It’s what Christians are supposed to do. I want to set an example for my kids/husband/wife. I want to be faithful to the church. I want to visit with so-and-so. I signed up for nursery today. I want to here the Bible taught and sing. Who am I kidding? I’m here for the food! These are all good reasons to attend church services, well maybe not for the food.
Churches have labored so hard over the years just to get people to attend that we’ve come to believe attendance is all that matters. Churches used to (some still do) post their attendance on little boards in the front of the church. We could look at those numbers and know that we were part of them and feel good about ourselves for being there. Attendance is still the common measure for the health of a church. But is that a accurate way to gauge a church’s health? Obviously not.
Church is not about attendance it’s about participation. We must take part to benefit from a church service. The substitute for participation is to offer activities of interest for everyone to do. “Give each person a reason to be here.” So we have volunteer opportunities that give us responsibilities and keep us busy. That’s not a bad thing unless we only go to church because they are counting on us.
God is not recording our perfect church attendance in Heaven. Nor is He giving bonus points for the activities we volunteered to do. The “participation” He seeks is our commitment to worshiping Him. With that said, do you sing His praises on Sunday? Or just hum along? Do you love your fellow Christian as God loves you? Or are you just being polite to them? Do you attentively listen to the preaching of his Word? Or do you just try to stay awake? Do you pray as the church prays? Or does your mind wonder to the things you have do that afternoon? I don’t know your answers, but I know I have some repenting to do. Some of us only went to high school to play football or band and never really participated in class. We sure wasted a lot of time there. Don’t waste your time here, come to worship Him today!