Sleep in. Read the paper and drink your favorite latte. Stay in bed until noon. Get ready for a day of NFL. Fantasy Football. Shopping. Movie. Yard work. To-Do List that you have been putting off. Church?
Given the secular focus of our culture with football dominating Sundays and Black Friday overshadowing Thanksgiving, it is easy to conclude that very few people still attend church.
Have you ever wondered the comparison of attendance at NFL football games compared to attendance at church in America?
- The average Sunday attendance of all the NFL games per week in America is a little over 2 million people.
- The average Sunday attendance of all churches per week in America is between 50 million and 125 million.
- Interesting. Although church attendance fluctuates every year and over the last few decades has declined a little bit, church attendance is still a huge part of American peoples' lives.
So, why do Americans go to church? Why do you go to church? Why would you encourage or invite anyone to go to church?
Here are a few ideas. Please add to the list.
I go to church because Jesus tells us that His church is the hope of the world. Yes, all churches are flawed, because all people are flawed. Where there are people, there are problems. Jesus promises us that He has, is and will build His church. Matthew reminds us of Jesus' promise, "I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." He does it through us, imperfect people. Most churches seek to serve the poor, the weak, the lonely, the single parents, the orphans, the elderly, overworked, anyone with a need. Churches seek to push us to get our focus off of ourselves and to focus on others who have needs. Jesus' church calls us to a higher vision and a better world.
I go to church to be encouraged and to encourage others. Jesus always provided a safe place to talk about real, challenging and practical life issues that the rest of the world seems to ignore. When a church is functioning right, people seek to listen, care, encourage, share resources and pray for each other. "Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called 'Today,' so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Heb 3:13
I go to church because I want my children to not only meet Jesus but be best friends with Jesus. All of us know, life is like a curvy, rapid-filled river where we face challenges, problems and temptations every day. I have learned that the best guide to real life is Jesus, Himself. "Now that we know what we have Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God let s not let it slip through our fingers. We don t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all all but the sin. So let s walk right up to Jesus and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help." Hebrews 4:14-16 (Msg)
I go to church to be like Jesus. Luke reminds us that Jesus would go to the Temple every Sabbath, which was His custom or habit. (Luke 4:16) If Jesus needed to be with God's people on a regular basis, how much more do I need to be with God's people?
If you haven t been attending church, I hope you will do so this week. If you are attending church, I hope you invite others to join you.
"Do not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day (of Jesus' return) approaching." Heb 10:25
Being encouraged by being active in one of Jesus' local churches,