In my last article, I spoke about the tendency to equate attendance with godliness. When we become too rigid in our view of how the meetings of the church should function we lose sight of the greater goal of growth within the body of Christ.
On the other hand, there is in our society a general lack of commitment towards things that are of ultimate value. We firmly believe that the church is founded upon the Word of God and it gives us several key reasons why we should meet together.
Not just a social club
At its very core the church has been given to us by God as a means of helping us mature towards being like Christ. It is the primary source for our growth. The New Testament writers never envisioned a Believer outside of the body of Christ and a healthy Christian is one who is actively involved in the local church.
Sadly, many Christians treat the local church as if it is an optional add on to their everyday lives. The importance of getting together for activities such as worship, prayer, thanksgiving, evangelism, teaching, Bible study, sharing exhortation, and building up other believers is no longer a priority in many Christian homes.
Living on an island
This attitude leads to a greater isolation and separation of believers within a local church. Instead of being a vibrant active community, many families live on spiritual islands not connected to each other. This is dangerous as the influences of the world and the enemy can more easily impact believers who are not engaged in the local church.
The bottom line is that we need each other. We need each other to pray together. We need each other to share burdens and struggles. We need each other to keep us accountable in our walk with the Lord. We need each other to help us with wisdom and discernment as we go through the trials of life. And we need each other to worship the Lord together.
The impact of worldliness
There’s no doubt in my mind, from personal experience, worldliness will take us away from meeting with God’s people. The more we saturate ourselves with the world the less we will want to take up our responsibility within the family of God.
The reason is pretty simple: it takes work. It’s not easy being involved in the local church. There are difficult people to deal with. There are complainers who discourage. There are needy people who take up time and energy.
Why is the prayer meeting so poorly attended?
This is definitely a head scratcher. The single most important ingredient in a healthy church is prayer and yet it is the least attended meeting. Now like I mentioned in my other article, there needs to be flexibility in when the meeting takes place. However, it boggles my mind that Christians think the church can succeed without prayer.
It’s no wonder that we see so little growth in our assemblies. When prayer is shoved down the priority list to the place of nonessential bad things are about to happen.
If your assembly has a prayer meeting time that doesn’t work well for many of the saints I would suggest you talk to your elders. Ask them to consider moving it to another time. Regardless, make an effort to be there. Make it a priority. The Lord will bless you for it.
Do all you can to make it out to meetings. Make it a priority. Consider the damage that can be done when we don’t attend the meetings of the church. They need you to be there. You need to be there and the Lord expects you to be there.