Why should you come to church? – a sermon on Hebrews 10:19-25 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
Before emigrating to Australia, Maggie and I attended a church where it was common for the church to be very empty during school holidays. I’m not talking about people who were away on holidays. No, many people didn’t come to church during school holidays because of wrong priorities – it’s as if there was this idea of “if school is closed then church is closed too.” Now that might be great from a holiday perspective, but it’s a rather bleak picture of spiritual health and wrong priorities, isn’t it!
Sadly many churches have seen a similar trend with church attendance during the Covid pandemic. The way we live has changed substantially from the early part of 2020. The pandemic has in many ways changed the way we’ve had to do things. Here in Tivoli it’s been almost two years since we had our first lockdown and our first pre-recorded church service. Many churches now have more people tuning in to church via streaming services than they have in person…. Not that there isn’t a place for something like that! However, the really sad thing that’s happened during the past two years is that it has become easier for people to just step away from church. It has made it easier for some to just give up on attending. I’m not talking about when churches couldn’t meet because of lockdowns – if you’re not allowed to gather as a public health measure there’s not an awful amount you can do! I’m also not talking about people who have legitimate health concerns. I’m thinking of how in many churches attendance has dropped even when there are no restrictions on meeting, because people have adjusted their priorities. Many confessing members view other things as being more important than meeting together. Some refuse to attend because they feel that mask-wearing or sign-in apps or having to sit in particular places or certain distances apart trample on their personal rights or preferences. Others argue that it’s just oh so much easier to sit in their PJ’s with a cup of coffee in hand and listen to a sermon and then get on with the rest of their day – and yes, sometimes we might not want to roll out of bed and get dressed to go to church, but that’s not quite the point, is it! So what is the point? Why is it important for us to join with the rest of God’s people on a Sunday?
The answer to that question is easy. That’s what God tells us to do! It is what God tells us to do! But just in case you don’t believe me that this is what God’s Word says, let’s look at just three things that the Bible tells us about the importance of meeting together. It tells us firstly that being involved in a worshipping community is God’s will for His people. It also tells us that the church is where God’s Word is primarily taught, and it tells us that church is where we connect with each other and encourage each other.
- Being involved in a worshipping community is God’s will for His people;
- The church is primarily where God’s people are taught His Word so they can grow spiritually; and
- The church is where we connect with other believers to encourage each other.