What About Those Two-Thirds?
At a recent conference Danny and I attended, we were given some cold, hard facts about Iowans and their church attendance. Our view has always been that we should be in church every time the doors are open. Apparently we are in the minority.
One of the convention speakers gave us these statistics:
1/3 of Iowans say they don’t attend church at all
1/3 say they attend church 1-20 times each year
1/3 say they are regular church attendees
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was. I can't imagine not worshipping God with fellow believers. I can't imagine not knowing our church family's needs so I can pray for them. And I can't imagine not being spiritually fed multiple times during the week. If I have to eat food to be physically healthy, I also have to hear God's Word preached and taught to be spiritually strong.
Let us hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and 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. Hebrews 10:23-25
What happens when believers aren't attending church regularly? The writer of Hebrews says:
* They are not faithful as God is faithful
* They are not loved and encouraged by the church family
* They are not supported
* They are not lifted up in a broken-down world
* They do not have the same opportunities to love and support other believers
What happens if we aren't in church, we aren't fellowshipping with the church family and we aren't growing in our faith? Hebrews says we fall away. Steadiness and strength come from God alone, but our support system of church family is what keeps us rooted and grounded in faith.
I pray that today and in the days and weeks to come, we will do everything in our power to be in church when the doors are open. We can also make personal invitations to bring believers through those doors, too. This is our reasonable responsibility to those we love.