Thursday, October 14, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY...do I have to go to church?

I have a friend that has fallen into that old familiar trap that so many Christians fall into. They get busy with kids ballgames, work seminars and yearly vacations and find themselves attending church services less and less.

At first, it is just an occasional Sunday, then it is 2 Sundays out of the month and before long, it is a rare occasion to attend church, maybe at Christmas and Easter. It is not a deliberate action, but something that is a slow fade. It is gradual and like my friend, it is almost unnoticeable (to them), but very noticeable to others.

I love what Billy Graham says:

 "Being in church no more makes you a Christian than being in a garage makes you a car."

Even though church attendance is NOT what makes you a Christian,  I believe that attending church will nurture you and grow you as a Christian! Attending church serves a three-fold purpose to help us to grow in our faith:

1. To worship with other believers.
2. Church is a place of Christian fellowship.
3. Church is a place where we can use our gifts in service and ministry.

HEBREWS 10:25 "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."
 
We can worship God anywhere.
 On the lake. From our recliner. Out on the golf course. But not attending worship service with like believers causes us to miss out on encouraging others, and others being able to encourage us. While you do not have to be in church to be a Christian, there is certainly a "void" when you are not there.
 
You don't HAVE to go to church, but why wouldn't you WANT to?
 I am thankful for the opportunity to worship my Lord with my brothers and sisters in the Lord ... for me, it is like "dress rehearsal" for what is to come in our eternal place of worship!
 
Please join your grateful heart with ours over at THANKFUL THURSDAY! Stop over at LYNN'S, she is our gracious hostess this month. See you over there!
 

14 comments:

Denise said...

Amen, well said sis.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Worshipping God with other worshippers is, for me, one of those sweet pleasures of life. I cannot imagine forsaking that pleasure for something less sweet.

hip-chick said...

I have been there. In fact, I am just now starting to attend church again after a long absence.

Holly said...

Have to agree with your post today 100%.......

If it weren't for my "God Family" I would be lost!

Praying for your friend and my friends as well that are at this point,

Holly

Krista said...

I just love that quote from Billy Graham - "Being in church no more makes you a Christian than being in a garage makes you a car." That is so true! Going to church doesn't make us Christians but we do need the fellowship, encouragement and growth it can offer us as Christians!

Great TT post :)

Love Ya,
Krista

Heather said...

Great thoughts,Laurie! Very well put!

Transparent Tulip said...

I agree, we should not forsake the assembling together with other believers.

Jerralea said...

Great post, Laurie, and so true. I feel that we need to attend church for fellowship with other believers but also to be obedent! He tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. To not go to church is being disobedent. (I am not talking to shut-ins, that is another story.)

Rocks said...

Hi there! we weren't able to go to church last Sunday but I am so thankful for the opportunity of serving Him outside the church. here's what we did :)

http://theabadianos.com/2010/10/ministry-in-samar.html

Cindy said...

Right on, and this is coming from someone who has been there done that.

We all need the fellowship of other believers.

Hope your having a blessed day.
Hugs,
Cindy

Tiff said...

So true. It may not make you a Christian, but it certainly has the potential to make you a better one. :-) We can grow so much more when we are challenged and sharpened, and forced out of our box to minister to others.

Church isn't about what we get out of it, but about what we bring to the rest of the body.

There really is a void when we're not there.

Thanks for speaking the truth!

My thankful post is here.

Lynn said...

Amen Laurie,

I go to church every Sunday. By myself. It's the highlight of my week. I need it and church needs me.

Thank you.

Rita T. said...

I agreed with everything you said. So well said. Have a wonderful weekend!

Denise Marie said...

Girl, we are falling out aren't we? I hear this mess of an excuse all around me now. Also...I hate organized religion is an excuse I hear?? I agree with your words and hope for our country that peeps will attend just for the sake of thanksgiving and praise!!