Have you ever planned and prepared an event or meal, spending endless hours? You painstakingly took time to gather all the necessary items, sent out the invitations, and spent hours upon hours to put it all together. With each guest in mind you purposely arranged the decorations and composed all the elements to make the occasion divine. However, after much work, to your dismay, many who promised to come... didn't.
Each week this happens in churches around the globe. Pastors spend time ministering before the Lord, listening and receiving the assignment from God. They pray endlessly for each person. These men and women plan and prepare for sharing the gospel. Many gather tools in different technical mediums to inspire and enlighten. And after all that, with great anticipation they come to the church only to find many of those who promised to attend, don't.
You are probably saying, right now, "that's ok, there are good reasons people don't go to church". Yes, there are! Some have to work, others may have sick children, or be ill themselves. But the majority of people use everything and anything for an excuse not to serve the Lord on Sunday morning or Mid-week service. "I'm too tired." "I need a day off." "It's too far to travel." "Someone invited me to go to the beach." "I need to prepare for company." "I want to watch my favorite sports team." And on and on.... Heb. 10:24-25 (TLB) says, " In response to all He has done for us, let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good. Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near."
You see these men and women of God are accountable to Him for their work to us. Heb. 13:17 (TLB) tells us to, "Obey your spiritual leaders and be willing to do what they say. For their work is to watch over your souls, and God will judge them on how well they do this. Give them reason to report joyfully about you to the Lord and not with sorrow, for then you will suffer for it too." Their diligence and faithfulness is for our benefit. 1 Thes. 5:12-13 declares, "Dear brothers, honor the leaders of your church who work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong. Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because they are straining to help you...."
The issue at hand is that we are selfish. We want to do what WE want to do! Don't forget what God has instructed us through the Word. Think about the necessity of His Word impacting our life and being a blessing to others! It's an atrocity to think we've arrived at the place where we have determined we no longer need God or His Word. Even the decision that we are too good or too busy for the Lord is an outrage. The purpose for church leadership is stated in Eph. 4:11-12 "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up." Now more than ever we NEED to be steady in our church fellowship. The preaching of the Word builds our faith, equips us for standing against the wiles of the devil, and renews our mind so we can walk as an overcomer.
If God has called you to a specific church, don't let your Pastor down. Missing 'Body' parts make it difficult to fully function. (1 Cor. 12:27 "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.") We each have a specific purpose in our church. The different gifts that He placed within us are required for completing the 'Body'. (Read Rom. 12:4-8) Determine today to be faithful to your church and pastor. And when tests to defect come, and they will, RESIST! Stand firm in your decision - be constant!
But if you haven't found a church home, we encourage you to pray and seek God where you need to be planted. Being part of a church is important in spiritual growth. Find the one to which He has called you! Let's be faithful to attend, to serve, to give, and to do our part! Give of yourself wholeheartedly, not just conveniently! Don't miss the next 'Divine Occasion'.
1 Cor. 12:21-25 "And 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. No much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor;...there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another."
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."