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The Importance of Gathering

I look forward to Sunday mornings and the worship hour that takes place then.

But of course I do, I am a pastor!

Even when I was not the pastor of a church I looked forward to Sunday morning worship times.  I did so because of the fellowship.  I did so for the singing to my Lord (who does not care if I am off key or not).  I also looked forward to what I could learn from a sermon.  I deeply enjoyed having communion and experiencing the presence of the Lord during that time of remembrance.

However, when the attendance was down at a worship service I can remember the feeling that something just wasn’t as upbeat or as fulfilling as it was when the church membership was in high attendance.  There is a let down when you realize that others do not make attending worship a priority.

We are told that church attendance is down all across the country.  We are told that church is not that important to people anymore.  This is a disturbing revelation.

Well maybe if church were more entertaining or if it placated our wants and desires then perhaps people would attend more.   Maybe we need to give people gifts every Sunday for attending or have a meal every time we meet.  After all we modern people don’t have time to sit around for an hour on Sunday.  We have too much we want to do.  Surely God understands.

The church is a gift of grace.  It is a shelter in the storms of life when they come (or it used to be).  Church is about a covenant community that comes together to serve one another not just a gathering to be served.  These are things that are missing in our culture.

There are still some places where people do look forward to going to church.  There are places that many people still make the church a priority in their lives.  Every church still has the possibility to be like this – for now.  The question is will its members understand the importance of what true church is all about?

Wow, just five days till it is time to come again and worship.  I can hardly wait.

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