Well, here it comes again; the holiday season.
Can you believe this year is almost over? I turned around a couple of weeks ago and all of the sudden it was Thanksgiving. Guess what else is about to happen. Well, ‘Tis the season for seasonal church tourism.What do I mean by that? As the holidays approach, churches are ramping up for their largest attendance of the year. Church buildings that usually have plenty of room will be filled to
near capacity, or at least they will see a marked increase in attendance.
Sometimes we refer to these seasonal attendees as “C and E attendees” – you know who they are; those who visit only at Christmas and at Easter. They can make church leaders feel as if their churches are only good enough to attend
twice a year.
Most churches welcome the influx of visitors. They try to show them that peace and good tidings are in season year round. But we have to ask a question here:Why don’t these “tourists of the church” attend regularly during the rest of the year?
Once, not long ago, a journalist singled out some of these people for a news story many years ago. One woman said her demanding career and her busy life that keep her and her family from church attendance. Many of those who were interviewed said, “I know I should go more often, but…” A parent commented, “When the holidays come, it reminds me of all the things we hold so dear. I want my children to experience that.”
Friends, we are told in Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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.”
So what happens when we neglect the meetings of the church? We give up the encouragement and help of other Christians.We gather together to share our faith and to strengthen one another in the Lord. As we get closer to “the Day” when Christ will return, we will face many spiritual struggles in our life and perhaps even persecution. Anti-Christian forces will grow in strength. Difficulties should never be excuses for missing church services. Rather, as difficulties arise, we should make an even great effort to be faithful in attendance.
The assembling of the church isn’t merely something we should “experience” or attend out of guilt. It is a great privilege to come to the throne-room of heaven to worship our God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). If praising God is
what we will be doing in heaven, why do we neglect worshiping Him on earth?We need to be with God’s people whenever we can (regular worship, Bible study, special revivals or meetings, fellowship activities, etc.) Do you want to be all that you can be for God? Then let’s do it together! It’s the only way. You know the old saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder”? If that is the case, some people must really be fond of the church.
Russ Vickers is the minister of the Middle Fayette Church of Christ, Fayetteville, Ga. The church building is located in the Glynn-Hood Plaza at 372 North Glynn St. across the road from La Hacienda Restaurant. They invite you come and visit them on Sunday for Bible study at 9:00 a.m. and worship at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday evening Bible Study at 7:00 p.m. They also offer a free of charge DVD based Bible Study at their church building. Just call to make an appointment. Visit them on the web at www.mfcoc.org for the plan of salvation and other information.