This may be terrible timing. Writing a blog post about church attendance on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend . . . on the eve of Summer break. Oh brother! What am I thinking?
Well, I am not thinking about how many people I can guilt out of going on their trip this Sunday. If you've got plans, have a blast!
I have had this recurring thought as I have witnessed a trend in our church over the last year: Is church attendance valuable? Furthermore, what value would you place on what I will call regular church attendance (Regular = You're at church on Sundays if you're in town = Priority)?
Regular Church Attendance? Really, Jeremy? Who does that anymore?
I have to admit it is a practice that is dwindling. And, I don't think that is a good thing. (Push back welcome).
I was thinking the other day about the bonds you build with God and with friends when you go away for a retreat, a summer camp, or a mission trip. Those are usually experiences designed to help catalyze those relationships that are most valuable, namely God and others. Part of what makes those catalytic events is the sheer frequency of time that you are spending.
Now, humor me for a moment. If frequency is a factor in those environments, what is any different about church services on Sunday? I am arguing that frequency matters. I am saying that if we will stop the "2 out of 4 ain't bad" kind of thinking that has become the social norm when it comes to church attendance, that we may just have fewer marriages on the rocks. We may have more kids taking a stand for Christ in their schools. We may have more people experiencing recovery from addiction. We may have more people digging into God's word and applying it to their lives throughout the week with this slight little tweak--start attending church every Sunday as long as you are in town.
I do think frequency is important. It would be weird to go to summer camp every other day. It would be odd to miss 2 out 4 retreat sessions.
And, I believe it goes against the grain to say that people should be at church every time they can...I believe it would be a game changer for many families, though, if they'll do it.