Attend Church or Else! – by Greg Albrecht

by Greg Albrecht

Editor’s Note: Just what it means to “be” and “do” and “go to” church is a controversial topic within Christendom. Of course there are vested interests, so that the discussion is rarely objective. One of our readers/listeners introduced this conversation, as he reported his response to an article by a pastor (in italics) he felt to be manipulative and self-serving (our reader’s response in bold type). We invite you to be the judge of that!

My wife recently brought home a pastoral newsletter from the church she occasionally attends. I read the lead article and couldn’t believe what I was reading. Have I just gone completely nuts, am I just nit-picking or is what I say the truth?

The article is about church attendance. I may be completely wrong, but it seems to me the article is laying a huge guilt trip on people—making them ashamed enough to show up at church. I excerpt the article below in italics, with my responses following.

Attending Church or Else! For the last ten years, I have seen the church body through the eyes of a pastor. And there is something I have noticed. There are those who make a concerted effort to attend every possible service. These people are considered the “core” of the church and can be counted on for their attendance, their time and even in their tithes. I have also noticed that there are those who do not make any effort to attend more than a few times a year. Generally at Christmas and Easter time. I conclude that these people are less committed to the church in their time and tithes.

People need to feel the church is committed to them also before they will put themselves out and commit to the church. In any case, isn’t it more desirable to be committed to Christ than to the church?

So the question comes to mind; “Does attending church really make a difference and if so to whom?” In other words, “What difference does it make?” I am of the opinion that it makes a very real difference to everyone. It makes a difference to the individual involved, to the church that could use more of their time and talents, to the community where they would become another shining light, and even to God and his desire that we all become doers of the word rather than just listeners.

All of these things can be done without going to a church. Christ is the head of the universal church and we are all individual members. The church is not some building or denomination that identifies itself as the church. Are you saying we can’t be a shining light outside of a building that calls itself a church?

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