You don’t have to connect with a church to be a Christ follower. But why wouldn’t you? When scripture so clearly points us to “meet together?” When there’s the opportunity to sing and worship our Savior with others? When there’s the chance to make friends with like-minded people, and to connect your kids with other kids whose parents are trying to raise them in the faith.
There’s the chance to learn, serve, grow... why would a Christ-follower avoid church?
Too often, we write off “church” because of what individual people say and do. It’s not the church’s fault if the preacher is a numbskull. The church was here long before he/she got there and will be there long after they’ve passed. There’s usually a ton of churches around if you go looking. We’re going to check out some alternatives, right? Or, we’ve outgrown a certain church. We want to do more, learn more, give more than that church has the capacity for. And sometimes, we just get lazy and decide it’s easier on everyone to just stay at home, go to the lake, have your own “quiet time” and avoid the crowd, the hassle, the parking lot, and the guilt that comes with attending church.
In general, people will have a ton less guilt about church than you had. They’re free agents, so to speak. They’re church “consumers”.... they “vote” their attendance and their giving to the church that gives them the most of what they want. Sometimes, they stay in “dead” churches and denominations to meet parental expectations or out of habit or out of the fear of change. Often, they stay in an ineffective church because they perceive their kids are “doing so well” in the youth program, only to find out years later they were learning nothing. It’s just so hard to know.
Pick a friend and discuss the value of being committed to a church. Talk about modeling for your kids, collaborating with your wives, and making decisions about the “right” level of church involvement. You won’t have all the answers, but you can help equip yourself and your friends to ask the right questions about church.
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