However, I am troubled by the fact that not all our members see the need for attending all our services. I just don’t understand it. What better thing could yo do? What could possibly be more thrilling and more helpful? When you love people it breaks your heart to see them deprived of God’s blessings. I refuse to sit idly by and watch it happen without sounding out a word of warning. The very thing you need most might be found in the very next church service, but you will never know unless you are there. We would all be wise to consider the words of Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching”. Even if the service was of no benefit to you personally, the needs of others ought to compel you to be present. It’s not just about what you can get, but also about what you can give. Think about it!
I was just thinking the other day about how I have been blessed by certain sermons and services. I love to hear good preaching. Not only do I enjoy it, I am helped by it also. Of course some sermons help me more than others. I’ve heard many sermons I enjoyed, but I couldn’t say they actually helped me. And I’ve heard some sermons that were both enjoyable and helpful. But I’ve heard some that I didn’t really enjoy, but they helped me immensely. Looking back, I am so glad I didn’t miss them!
Depending on a person’s circumstances there are times when certain sermons are greatly needed. Yet, after many years of observation,I’ve noticed that some people miss the very sermons they need most. That’s why faithfulness in church attendance is so very important. The service you miss might be the one you need the most. Notice that I said “service”. It’s not just the content of the message that impacts us. Every service has a certain spirit or atmosphere that is unique. In other words, even if you read a transcript of the sermon you would not capture the spirit and power of the service. You need to be there when it’s happening!
Although most of them are now in heaven, there are still a few “old-timers” who can remember the great “Preacher Fellowship” meetings we had in Tennessee, Kentucky, and southern Ohio and Indiana. Wow–those were the days! It’s impossible to duplicate those experiences. You could say that each one was a once in a lifetime experience.I tear up just thinking about how they blessed my soul. I know of nothing like it taking place today. However, while we can’t re-live the past we can make some memories by taking advantage of the opportunities we have.
It’s a big mistake to assume that you don’t need a certain service and treat it as though it will have nothing worthy of your attention by staying away from it.I’m afraid that many have developed some bad habits, one of which is to not attend certain services. I realize that sometimes there are certain circumstances beyond our control that prevent us from being present in all the services. It’s not my intent to embarrass or falsely accuse people in that situation of being unconcerned. I do, however, think they are the exception rather than the rule. In most cases the absentees aren’t there because they simply don’t want to be there. And it’s amazing how often they miss the very thing they need most—and never even know it. My advice is, don’t take a chance. If you are present you won’t miss anything.
Just this last week we had a guest (we don’t use the word “visitor”) family in our evening service. After a few kind words about how much they enjoyed the service, they told me they had been searching long and hard to find a church that still had Sunday night services. They were thrilled to discover that we did. They seemed even more surprised and pleased when I told them we also have a mid-week service on Wednesday night. It’s sad that anyone would find this unusual, but that’s the way it is today. I’m proud of the fact that we are one of the few remaining churches in our area that still has evening services on Sunday and Wednesday. I can’t help but wonder why anyone would want to be a member of a church that doesn’t.