It is nearing the end of the summer, and with that many people start to settle into a school routine when kids are involved. One local church here in Western NY posted a Facebook event titled “Launch Sunday: When People Come Back to Church” on the first Sunday of the new school year.
Clearly this event aims to generate excitement in order to get people to come back to church. However, this event has some very concerning overtones. The church should not need to have “launch Sunday” after the summer.
Holiness is to be pursued always. This pursuit includes attending your local church.
God is always to be sought. The event description makes the statement, “People have busy lives, especially in the summer, especially in Buffalo! We welcome a change from the ordinary grind.” The implication seems to be that this includes the “grind” of church participation. The event assumes a worldly attitude toward summer that includes vacationing from the church or spiritual activities.
Is there ever a time when you don’t need your church? For example, do you ever not need exhortation from other believers? Instruction from your pastor’s preaching? What about service for the Lord? While the world is resting during the summer, are there not unique opportunities for service and evangelism? As much as possible, the church needs every member to be present and doing his or her part during the summer.
There are legitimate reasons to travel out of town–attending to family outside of the area or vacationing for a short season. These should be done with careful consideration to how many times you will be absent from your local church. Try to limit your absences. Pursue trips that will include spiritual things and include spiritual things in your trips.
As we head into the coming weeks, make your local church a priority. One group of believers was commanded to not neglect gathering frequently. (Heb. 10:25) Often the early church seemed to be active daily (e.g. Act. 2:46; 5:42; 19:9). If you normally do attend but didn’t this past summer (or maybe you don’t), then “remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first[.]” (Rev. 2:5a) Attend the services–all of them If possible. Listen attentively to your pastor as he preaches from the Word. Seek opportunities to fellowship with other believers outside of formal gatherings. Participate in service. We need each other and the gifts God provides only through the church. In all, yield to the Holy Spirit through whom we find the ability to live the Christian life.