Are You a Part-Time Churchgoer? You May Be Surprised

While I agree that this problem is often the result of hearts being somewhere else, the article seems to conflate more than one type of absence. Sickness does happen, and even sometimes when we feel well enough to be in a church service, staying away to not infect everyone else while still contagious is greatly appreciated. I’m not even sure why it was included in this list unless the author wishes to lump legitimate illness with “just not feeling well enough” to show up.

Also, I see being out for sports, or when people are visiting, or even not liking the guest speaker (!) as quite a bit different from being away on holiday/vacation and meeting with a different group of God’s people.

Dave Barnhart

I understand the point of the article, but it seems like the author diminished going to church gathering to be fed by pastors who have spent their week in study and prayer; and over-emphasized going to church to be with other Christians. But the same argument can be made for lack of church attendance in reversing the roles. ie, “We don’t need to go to church to hear some preacher, we need to go “be” the church and we can do that best at home with “authentic” worshipers in our small group.” I like what Trevin Wax often writes, but I see in the NT, that going to assemble to hear God’s Word with God’s people as being the focus of assembled worship, not so that I can admonish one another—that I see as a necessary by-product. It seemed to me to create a false dichotomy between going to engage in preaching and going to fellowship with people.

Maybe I am reading it wrong though.

Is there such a thing as too much church? When I was younger, my family attended a church that had several services a week- Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Tuesday Women’s meetings, Wednesday Prayer Service, Friday Youth Service. Add to that having to go on Saturdays for Music/Choir practice or Church Yard Sales).

As you can imagine, our relationships with our relatives and friends suffered a lot during that time. Not too mention that attending church became more of a burden to me than a joy.

By calling a church meeting “worship” and then saying that we are to be part of a spiritual family gathering that involves stimulating one another to love and good works (thus edification), there is a subtle contradiction.

If you use Heb. 10 for worship, there is no context there at all. The word “worship” is not implied or used in Hebrews 10. So his summary of needing to be with OTHERS and benefiting from the strengthening of our faith as the body meets is correct. Terminology is very important. We can worship God anywhere or in a group with any believers, but a church is about a spiritual family and body life, as the author implies.

"The Midrash Detective"

Our church (and I am not criticizing it) has so many opportunities for service and fellowship. Aside from the Sunday SS hour, AM worship, PM worship, and Wednesday night.

We have:

  • Men’s Bible studies almost every week. Some are Thursday am …. some lunch hour downtown … some Sat am. Women’s are structured a bit differently but they have an active calendar too.
  • We have meetings before the PM service, meetings after the am service (not too much), etc
  • There are school events several nights of the week.
  • The seminary has Saturday classes, weekday classes, modulars, etc
  • We have the Twin Cities Bible institute that meets one night of the week (probably not in the summer)
  • There are men’s retreats, Bible conference, missions conference, women’s retreats, MBA conference, Men for Christ conference, and a Friends of Israel conference
  • We have ABF activities at least once a quarter

What I am saying is that the calendar is complex as it is full. There is a smorgasbord of activities. I’m there every Sunday but I am not at everything.