Ever wonder why more people don’t attend church? Are there really over 254,000 heathen in the city of Hull? Of course not! So what is the problem? I’ll unravel some thoughts from my 37 years of loving what the Church should be.
Firstly, could it be God’s at fault? Maybe it’s just “the signs of the times” that Jesus mentioned. Is it just the effect of modern day culture? The way we’ve been brought up? Maybe church is only really good these days for getting stuff thrown at you: water, confetti and mud often referred to as hatch, match and dispatch.
If the Church is not a structural building but the people of God, are we inspirational enough in living out our faith and reflecting a loving Heavenly Father, a sacrificial Son and an empowering Holy Spirit? If the Almighty God is in me, and among us in our churches, and more importantly, with us as we live out our daily lives, the love of God will be evident and revealed!
I’ve walked into numerous pubs during my 62 years and the atmosphere in some is icy to dead, others stink and the service leaves little to be desired – I can assure you I don’t readily go back.
Unfortunately, when entering some events in some church buildings we may find some similar characteristics. Do we in our gatherings really reflect the creative designer of the universe? My God is all powerful, all loving, He fills every aspect of the universe with His goodness and mercy toward every single man, woman and child.
This blog is not knocking more traditional church buildings and services. My observations are that even the newer church streams are not doing any better at attracting and keeping those who need to be inspired! Even more modern Christian music and less ritual, which is my preference, leaves little to be desired! Could this even be a stench in God’s nostrils? Even if these more modern church meetings are not so icy, is there an icy attitude towards the outsider that dares to enter after the complimentary ‘good morning’ and handshake? Are we giving a good service to ourselves and a second rate service to those outside the walls of the church building? Ignore the poor and you ignore God! We are all poor in many different ways but God blesses all those that are poor!
Over the years we have made too much of introducing people to our newer improved churches. I don’t think that many people are that interested. What they need is the same thing I needed 37 years ago and that is an introduction to Jesus, the LIFE giving Son of God. There is no comparison between our Sunday service and the service of Jesus to those outside of his flock. It’s Jesus that saves us, leads and guides us and fills us with hope for a better life that lasts for eternity.
My personal journey has not always been easy but it has always been exciting, fulfilling and makes me want to know Jesus more and present day churchiness less. Unless we, who put our faith in Jesus, begin to obey His commands to go, in His name, power and authority, reaching out in His love, compassion and mercy to every human being that is not yet safe in His flock, we fail them; because every one counts and has the God given right, through the death of His Son, to hear and make a response to the Good News, just like I did.
My conclusion is simple, if we don’t look anything like Jesus in our daily lives among our friends, family, work colleagues, neighbours, community and city, why do we pretend to be more like Christ on Sundays at church?