A Word of Clarification (No. 7 in Series)
As I was reading a few weeks ago for this series of articles concerning church attendance, I came across a lengthy quote which says clearly what I would like to say about this subject because I want us to be clear on what the passage in Hebrews 10:24-25 is teaching. George Guthrie has written, “Another caution is in order with regard to the author’s challenge to ‘not give up meeting together.’ This exhortation has been used at times to exhort church members to attend every meeting offered by the church during the week: Sunday School, Sunday morning worship, evening worship, visitation on Monday night, prayer meeting Wednesday night, Bible study Friday noon; all are held up as part of the standard for ‘let us not give up meeting together.’” I hope you know that I have not intended to guilt you into “living at the church building.” The point is not to be here every time the doors are open necessarily. I simply want you to see the value of church membership. I want you to make a commitment to regular church attendance.
Guthrie continues his comments, “The principle behind this part of the author’s challenge, however, has to do with consistent involvement in the life of the church rather than frenetic activity in all the programs of the church. We as Christian leaders must not burden people with a guilt trip if they are not at the church five nights a week. The question is whether they are meaningfully engaged in the life of the body on a weekly basis. Are they involved in worship? Are they being educated through preaching and teaching of God’s Word? Are they ministering, exercising their spiritual gifts? Are they experiencing Christian fellowship? We should teach these aspects of healthy Christian living and allow the Holy Spirit to show them how these are to be lived out consistently.” This is the standard. This is what pleases God. This is what makes for a strong, faithful church. This is what makes for a healthy Christian individual and family. Let us examine ourselves in this aspect of our Christian lives and recommit to regular, weekly church attendance.