I really had to adjust mentally not being able to attend church regularly for the past nine months. I didn’t notice the time passing by so quickly, being busy setting order in my home as a caregiver. I got a lot of things done, like preparing dinner while watching the service on our computer. I didn’t have to dress up or take the rollers out of my hair if I didn’t want to.
Then my soul hit a brick wall. It began to miss hearing the Word in person. I missed the faces I’d pass in the hall and the random words of encouragement I’d receive. I missed sitting in the fellowship hall after 8am service to drink coffee and laugh and fellowship with friends. Then the thought came that I’m not saved or a Christian any more cause I wasn’t going to church.
But I had a revelation, at least for myself, on this very concept that I’d like to share. Is it the fact you go to church that makes you a Christian? Attendance is not good alone; remember the Pharisees and Scribes attended church religiously and they crucified Christ.
That led me to my next thought. If it’s not by my church attendance, how is someone to know I’m a Christian? Many of you who are older remember the game show, What’s My Line. There would be a contestant that appeared before a panel of judges or celebrities who would hear different facts about the individual. After a given number of clues, they’d try to guess the occupation or special ability of the person.
If our characteristics were listed, would attendance to church be the only identifier we were a Christian? Would the list name some of the weightier things that Christ considered important characteristics of His followers? He showed us by the things He did in His life that mattered. He was kind, honest, helped the needy, visit the sick, feed the hungry, encourage the brothers and sisters in Christ, and yes, fellowship with each other. We should be upright and law abiding citizens.
Church is where we go to learn how to be a Christian and the world is our proving ground that we learned the lesson. Church attendance is crucial to those wanting to be Christians. The scripture says that we should let our light shine so that men can see our good works and glorify our Father which is in Heaven (Matthew 5:16). Jesus compares the Christian to salt. Just as natural salt has no effect if it stays in the box with other salt granules; neither will the Christian fulfill the purpose of God in their lives among the world.
Do those you meet see a character and demeanor that glorifies God or are they guessing what’s your line? Are people glad when you leave the room rather than waiting for you to enter, seeing your presence as a light after a blackout?
The purpose of Church and our attendance isn’t to just gather or become a mere social club. Church should prepare us to have impact in our neighborhoods, communities, and the stranger’s lives we meet.
I don’t know about you, I want it to be clear for those I meet, what my line is and that I’m a Christian. Not just because I attend church but because of the Christ-like tendencies I exhibit from what I learned at church. Join me, won’t you?