Myth #1: “I Won’t Be Missed” - 5 Myths That Keep Us From Church

Myth #1: “I Won’t Be Missed”

Imagine a football team where only half of the players show up for practice every day, and each day is a different set of players! How long would it take the coach to turn athletes with that kind of sporadic and unpredictable commitment into a cohesive team?

Or think of an orchestra where at one rehearsal only the wind instruments are present, and at the next rehearsal only the strings and percussion are available. How would the conductor prepare the whole orchestra for an upcoming concert?

No illustration is perfect, of course, but that’s a bit like what is happening in many churches today, at least in churches across North America. Not only does the research show that church attendance is in decline, but even believers who are committed to their local churches are attending in person far less frequently than ever before. Whereas thirty years ago the average church member attended a weekend service 3 or more times per month, members with the same level of commitment now attend only about 1.5 times each month.

There are lots of reasons for this, of course. Our (North American) culture no longer respects Sundays as a day set aside for worship. Our work lives spill over into our weekends, with travel and endless emails leaving little time for either family or church. Youth “travel sports” now routinely schedule tournaments for weekends, including Sundays. Simply put, people and families now face many more pressures and choices for how to spend their Sundays than they once did.

Perhaps the biggest reason for that change is that many have come to see church involvement as a “consumer exercise” and not a “participant exercise.” That is, many people think of church kind of like they think of going to Walmart or Target. The question is primarily about what they can get from their church rather than what they can contribute to their church.

This is not how the New Testament sees the church! In 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NLT), it is said that “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” This means that like an orchestra or a football team, if you are a follower of Christ, you have a specific and irreplaceable role in the church. When you are not there the team, or body, does not function as it is intended to. When, we allow ourselves to become occasional consumers of church, instead of vital participating parts of the church, we not only miss out on how God might want to encourage, challenge, or bless us, we rob our brothers and sisters of what our presence, our encouragement, and our care might mean to them. Just as a quarterback or defensive lineman matters to a football team or a violinist or piccolo player matters to an orchestra, you matter to the church.

You are irreplaceable!

From the Book: