The computer software the church uses to keep track of its members and prospects is powerful. At the click of a few criteria boxes the software can analyze and spit out names and percentages and such in only minutes. A few days ago I was given the list of all those involved in our adult Bible Fellowship hour, the days they were absent and present, and the associated percentages of times of present versus absent. The numbers were startling. Some people who had previously been faithful had taken the entire month of July off; others were present 25%, some 50%, a few 75% and a very, very few 100%. I presume all this is because July is a big vacation month, but I must confess I was taken back by the names of those who were absent the entire month. I will not post them.
It is impossible to fully communicate and emphasize the importance of being a part and connecting to a small group. The small groups of Berean are the very heart beat of the church. It is in small groups that relationships are formed and needs are met. In small groups, questions are asked and answered. In small groups, prayer requests are solicited and praises shared. From small groups, Friday and Saturday activities are planned and fellowship occurs beyond the one hour of Sunday. In small groups, God’s Word is studied and the believer is challenged to take it to another level. 1st C.L.A.S.S. is the first small group a potential member of the church attends. At the end of the class future members are challenged to connect and unite with a Bible Fellowship Small Group each Sunday at 9.30am. When they arrive at their first Berean BFH class, what will they find? I trust all of the above and much more. But this can’t happen if the core of the class is absent 50% of the time.
Let me encourage you to build your life around the church. Let me encourage you to show your love for your King by your service in and through His church at 517 Glensford Drive. And if by chance you are reading this blog outside the one at 517 Glensford Drive, find a Bible believing, Christ exalting, Spirit filled, evangelical, conservative, fundamental church and build your life around it. How’s that for a string of adjectives! I must articulate it that way because all churches are not equal. Every disciple of Christ needs to be connected to the body of Christ in a local visible manner. Go back and look at one of my first posts called “Membership Matters.”
The world expects Christians to be in church. The disciple of Christ who is “hit and miss” in their attendance is crushing their testimony or reputation in their neighborhood. Staying home on Sundays from church is like walking around with a beer can in your hand and witnessing. Nobody believes this guy is serious about his relationship with Christ. Let me encourage you to start vacations on Mondays and return on Saturdays to minimize the days you miss church. On the Sunday you must be gone, please assemble with other local Christians in an organized sense and worship. Let me challenge you to strive to pull into the parking lot every Sunday no later than 9.25 am. Let me ask you to make a conscious decision to plan ahead so that your morning honors and glorifies God as you prepare to go to His House.
Let me encourage you to be faithful….you are missed.
May I ask what you would think of me if I preached only as often as you are faithful—how long would you keep me as your preacher? What’s the difference? I do it for the Lord, don’t you?
And finally, please, don’t go down the road of “God knows my heart and He understands.” God doesn’t understand unfaithfulness. Read your Bible. Israel is continually rebuked for being unfaithful—often she is described as a harlot. Christ said lukewarm Christianity makes Him want to vomit (Rev 3.16).
The writer of Hebrews said it like this: Do not forsake getting together as a body of Christians, like others are doing, instead, challenge and encourage each other to be faithful to the body of Christ when it assembles: and as the day approaches when Christ will return be even more obnoxious in the manner in which you encourage faithfulness among other Christians [my translation]. See Hebrews 10.25.
See you Sunday!