In recent years, many churches have promoted a “Back to Church Sunday” in September. There are even entire campaigns with the requisite advertisements and banners and media and web content. Here at FUMC, we’re calling for “Back to Church” on Sunday, September 9.
I’m all for getting back to church, but it begs the question, “Where have we been?”
I once knew a preacher who said he was going to write a book someday called “Funny Experiences and Foolish Excuses.” We’ve all heard (or made?) most of them:
“I can be just as good a Christian at home. I can worship God in nature. I can worship God on the golf course or while I’m driving.”
“I became a member in such-and-so year and I’m still a member and even send in a donation once in a while, even though I don’t go anymore.”
“I’m as good as some of the people that go to that church, even better than some, so why bother.”
Or someone is very successful and prosperous and lives what the world judges a good life, so they don’t think they need church.
Or someone is a “good” person, a moral person, an honest person, a good parent, a good spouse, a good employee, a good neighbor, and says, “I’m good enough already.”
Or for some people, it’s about priorities. “I’ve got so many things going on that Sunday is the only day I have to catch up and drink my coffee and read the paper….” Life’s a choice, after all.
But here’s the reality: what we worship is what we become. Show me a life, a lifestyle, a family, a community, a calendar, a bank account, and I’ll tell you what you worship.
Here’s the word of God: “Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy.” Why make Sunday the Sabbath? Because it’s when we have worship together.
Why go back to church this Sunday?
The sacraments or ordinances of the church are not optional.
Offering bread and wine, he told his disciples, “Take and eat; this is my body” (Matthew 26.26). Nobody else offers the sacraments.
The church is God’s plan for believers.
1 Corinthians 12.27, says “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” There are no “lone ranger” Christians.
The church family helps you grow personally and spiritually.
Ephesians 4.16: As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Other people need us to help them grow.
God has given each of us a ministry, a gift, something only you can do, which the Bible says “is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.” (1 Corinthians 12.7)
The church provides encouragement and accountability.
James 5.19: “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back.” It’s easy to pick off the weak or the isolated or the self-absorbed.
You never know what you’re going to miss. So, don’t!