Why bother going to all of the meetings?
Life is busy! Time is money! It’s expensive to live in our society! Christians should be hard working and put in the hours! We must spend time with our families! You can enjoy fellowship with God at home! These statements are either completely true or have elements of truth in them. I am not going to go through them one by one but hopefully by the time you have read the answer to this question you will be able to put the answers you might have offered into perspective in light of what the scripture says.
I suppose that one of the first questions we need to ask is: What are we trying to achieve when we give these reasons for not attending ‘church’ meetings? Are we making ourselves feel better, or does it make us look better in other people’s eyes if we have a valid reason for non-attendance.
We all understand that there will be times when work, family and other commitments may make it impossible to get to particular meetings. That understood, the question we are really addressing is that there are many believers who have fallen into what we now call the ‘S.M.O.’s which is short for Sunday Mornings Only. Why it is Sunday and not a Wednesday or Saturday meeting I am not too sure but somewhere along the line we have put a higher value on the Breaking of Bread meeting than any of the others. This is not to say that it doesn’t have significant influence in our lives and service for the Lord, but we do not have biblical authority to raise its status above all others.
Dear reader, I am sure that you are not an S.M.O. and the reason is because S.M.O.’s probably don’t read this type of magazine. Perhaps I can ask everyone who is reading this to take a copy and pass it on to your nearest S.M.O. Be polite and caring but try to use this answer to encourage them to come and meet with the Lord and His people.
The sad reality of life is that S.M.O.’s eventually become ‘N.M.E.’s (No Meetings Ever) and if we think that it is tough to get S.M.O.’s to come to more meetings try getting in touch with N.M.E.’s. Our assemblies would be packed to capacity if everyone who was in fellowship once, came again. Like true shepherds let’s put energy into recovering sheep that have gone astray as well as seeking to reach the unsaved.
Why should we be so interested in getting as many Christians as possible to as many meetings as possible? Certainly not so that we can boast about big numbers and a growing church! Much as many of us would love to have larger numbers that is not the reason nor is it a good one. Please take your Bible and check out the Lord’s reasons, for they are not mine but His:
God dwells in the local church through the Holy Spirit, Eph. 2. 22.
The Lord Jesus has personally promised to be among us, Matt. 18. 20.
It is where the truth of God is upheld and displayed, 1 Tim. 3. 15.
God personally requests that we attend and should not give up, Heb. 10. 25.
It is where we will be encouraged in our faith, Heb. 10. 25.
It will keep us going on for God when everything in the world around is getting worse, Heb. 10. 25.
It is where we will be encouraged to live out the love of God and to be involved in doing good to others, Heb. 10. 24.
There are many other reasons to be found elsewhere but hopefully I have whetted your appetite for getting back to the meetings.
Now for a word of warning to us all. If the meetings we hold are not spiritually attractive to believers, having no awareness of the presence of God, no sound teaching or inspiring challenge to the ministry and with consideration for young and old, and if kindness and care are not seen among us, then we should not be surprised if believers stay away and do not bother to come.
We must make sure that we do not use the non-attendance of believers as a cover-up for the fact that the assembly might be like the church at Ephesus in Revelation chapter 2 verse 4, or Sardis in chapter 3 verse 1, or even like Laodicea in chapter 3 verses 15-17.
What can we do?
Individuals – Put the Lord first; channel your energy into serving God and His people.
Assemblies – get before the Lord and seek to know his presence again for the glory of God, the blessing of the saints and the salvation of sinners.