In my last article I wrote about folks who leave the church and I want to give you some hope this Advent season. In a sense we are all potential drop outs. Things can happen and before we know it we might find ourselves no longer attending church. Many members have had periods in their lives of being inactive. So I thought it might do us well to talk about how to avoid becoming a statistic.
First- understand the real issue. When we leave the church it is a spiritual issue. Jesus founded the church and sent us out. The Holy Spirit empowers the church. The church is God’s plan to reach the world with the good news. Through the church we are equipped and enabled for our mission. We need to be active in God’s church.
Second- we need to do what we need to do so that we don’t drift. The reality is we need a spiritual check up. We need to be committed to attending, participating, and supporting a local church. So how can we not be a drop out?
*Attend. Attend on a regular basis. Attend not just worship but at least one other activity that will connect you to the body at a more personal level. I’m still a fan of Sunday School and studies have shown that folks who attend SS have a much greater chance of still being in the church later than those who do not. I’ve read that each person needs to have a relationship to at least five people in the church outside of their family in the local church. We need each other. And we can’t get that just by being in worship. We need worship but we need other avenues to grow closer to the body.
*Participate. It’s more than going but doing! We need to sing, pray, read, and be a part of the activities that are happening in worship. We need to go to SS or another Bible study to learn and grow in our own faith. We need to get involved in hands on mission work and not just send checks.
*Support. We need to do work in the church. We may be asked to take a job in the church that is not our gift. It’s OK to say no. Not every job is for us to take but there is a job for everyone. Find your place of service. It’s hard to walk away when you are personally invested. We show support by praying for our church and vocally supporting our church. We also show our support by tithing and giving to our church.
We simply can not be all we can be without being a part of a local church.
On an individual basis we need to do personal prayer, Bible study, etc. As we grow in faith we will mature and realize the need for God’s church.