52 Sundays: Am I A Part-Time Church Attender?
This year we're challenging our members and regular attenders to attend a church service every week in 2014. You can read more about the 52 SUNDAYS challenge here. This article is part of a series of articles about 52 SUNDAYS.
Am I A Part-time Church Attender?
What constitutes a "part-time" church attender? Someone who goes to church half the time? Three times a month? Five out of six? How regular do you need to be in order to say "I go to church all the time." Because face it...stuff happens. Nobody goes ALL the time.
- Vacation: To maximize his allotted days, Geoff took the family to the mountains during the kids’ spring break, stretching over two weekends (one of which happened to be Easter!). There was the summer beach vacation, another stretch of a week and two weekends, and then a fall getaway. Total = 5 Sundays.
- Sports: Their oldest son is on a travel soccer team. Many of the games are on weekends, and they believe it would be a better testimony to be among unbelievers on Sunday mornings rather than let down the team. Total = 9 Sundays.
- Sickness: With their youngest child going to preschool, the family seems more susceptible to illnesses than before, and sickness always seems to hit on the weekends. Total = 3 Sundays.
- Guest Preacher: When Pastor Jon is out of town, Geoff and Christine usually take the weekend off. They never like the guest speaker as much as Pastor Jon. Total = 3 Sundays.
- Visiting In-Laws: Christine’s parents come twice a year to spend the weekend with the family. To maximize their time, they usually spend the weekends catching up and doing some shopping. Total = 2 Sundays.
- Holiday: Thanksgiving weekend, and the week in between Christmas and New Year’s, the family is traveling. Total = 2 Sundays.
That's 24 Sundays. Half-time.
Maybe more of us are part-time attenders than we think? I don't think so (not Sovereign Grace Church overall), but I think it's fair to say that the value of meeting together weekly is quickly eroding in the broader church world.
If our Sundays together remain a centerpiece of our community, we need to fight for it. We need to define it. We need to encourage one another in it and not assume every new person who joins our church will think the same.
Our Sunday services please God.
Our Sunday services encourage Christians.
Our Sunday services reach the world.
It really doesn't matter what stage of the Christian life you are in. These three goals are the full-time occupation of every person who calls themselves a Sovereign Grace.