First, there are all kinds of reasons Christians don’t attend worship. One reason is, they can’t. There are Christians who, although they want nothing more than to be in worship services with their Christian family, their health prevents them from doing so. My heart goes out to these folks. This article is not for them; it is for those who choose not to be in worship.
Whether you’ve stopped attending because of your work situation, a family situation, discouragement, conflict with church members, or any other reason, the following are some things I really want you to consider:
1. You Can Help Us
Some people feel like churches are full of hypocrites. Well, I wouldn’t say we’re all hypocrites, but we’re definitely imperfect. In fact, we’re down right messed up sometimes! We are often inconsistent, insensitive, and incompetent.
But here is something you may not have considered: because we are so messed up, you can help us. You can help encourage us to be better. You can help us see the shortcomings to which we’ve become blind. You can help by not giving up on us; just as God hasn’t given up on you.
You see, if you’re a Christian, then we are all a part of the same body. If you’re not with us – helping us – then there is a vital piece of our body missing. Speaking about the church (the body of Christ), Paul wrote, “When each part is working properly, [it] makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:16). Did you catch that part about, “each part working properly”? If you’re not here, how can you be working properly to help the rest of us be built up?
So, the next time you think about how messed up we are, remember you can help us be better.
2. We Can Help You
It’s also a two-way street. Not only can you help us, but – believe it or not – we can help you, too. You may think, “I can live my Christian life just fine; I don’t need to be an active member of a congregation to be a ‘good Christian.'” If that’s your mentality, you need to understand you’re contradicting God.
God designed Christians to have their spiritual needs met, at least in part, through the church. You can deceive yourself into thinking you don’t need to worship with us, learn with us, serve with us, or fellowship with us, but you’re lying to yourself. You need the church as much as any body part needs the rest of the body to survive.
God’s word says, “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you'” (1 Corinthians 12:18-21).
This is a hard statement, but you need to understand that when you say to the rest of us, “I have no need of you,” you’re calling the Lord a liar.
3. Your Salvation Depends on It
Think about it, if Jesus is the head and the church is the body (Ephesians 5:23), you cannot walk away from the body of Christ without walking away from Christ. If you want to abide in Christ, you must abide in His church (John 15:1-17). Don’t get me wrong, there’s a LOT more to Christianity than just being faithful in “church attendance” and involvement. But don’t fool yourself into thinking you can be a faithful Christian and give up being a part of the church.
Please read this entire passage and consider all the implications of it:
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:23-27, emphasis mine).
Faithful attendance and involvement are a part of your faithfulness to God.
But it’s not too late. You can come back. The rest of us will still be imperfect and we will still mess up. But I assure you, most of us are really trying. You can help us, we can help you, and our salvation depends on us loving one another, worshiping together, and learning to put one another above ourselves.
So please consider coming back and being an active part of the Lord’s church.
I love you and God loves you,