ďHoney, get up. Youíre going to be late for church!Ē With a groan coming from the depths of the bed covers, she heard a mumbled ďAw, do I have to?Ē
ďWell of course you do, youíre the pastor!Ē This little joke makes me smile and reminds me of the times I havenít felt like getting out of bed on a Sunday morning too. With how crazy our schedules and lives get, it is tempting to just stay in pajamas longer on a Sunday morning and cozy up with a cup of coffee and the newspaper.
Iíve heard people come up with many reasons why they donít go to church; God is everywhere so they donít need to go to church just to worship; there are hypocrites there; someone hurt me at church so I donít want to go back; itís my only day off, etc. The reasons are never-ending.
Yes, the church is not perfect because weíre in it and weíre human! I heard one pastor say that the church is a hospital for sinners. We all need to be there. Not only is the teaching important so we can grow in our faith, but the fellowship is important too. The Lordís glory and Holy Spirit fills a gathering of his people in a way that isnít possible if weíre by ourselves. Itís important to attend as a family too. Youíre beginning habits for your children that will stay with them the rest of their lives. And I once heard that if you donít reach children by their teen years, then they arenít as open to the gospel the older they get. So the childhood years are critical to start hearing the gospel and learning it both at home and in a church environment. As parents, itís our job to give them not only what they physically need, but spiritually as well.
And the church needs YOU too! You have talents and gifts that the Lord wants you to use to further His kingdom. So when youíre missing from church, your gifts are missing from there as well. Believe it or not, there is a gap when youíre not at church! There are people who need your gifts and your personality to minister to them that no one else has. Just like you are able to make connections with some people better than others, there are people in the church who need your fellowship and ministry gifts to feel comfortable in the church as well.
As you listen to the Holy Spirit, He will guide you to the church where He wants you to be so you and your family can keep growing in your faith. Donít allow a bad experience in the church to keep you from this important spiritual hospital where you can refresh your soul and spirit for the coming week. Itís a trick from the devil to deceive you into thinking you donít need church. Jesus is victorious over Satan, and we can be victorious in our spiritual walk if we stay close to Jesus and remain ever faithful on that narrow path with His leading.