“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
A recent study of worship habits since covid-19 says that 49% of those who used to regularly attend church prior to covid-19 have stopped worshiping altogether. Let that sink in. Half of all church going Christians haven’t worshiped since March.
As I have been speaking regularly with our church people, I know that the numbers aren’t as bad at the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace as the study suggests. But I do know that there are people in our congregation who have stopped worshiping. Some have done so because they have no way to connect online or have difficulty doing so. But there are those who have the capacity to worship online and have chosen not to worship.
This breaks my heart. I ache knowing that there are Little Church and Lakewoodgrace people who haven’t worshiped in months. This is not good. This is not healthy.
No one can force you to do anything. I certainly don’t want to guilt trip you into doing something you don’t want to do.
But here’s what I’ve realized. Whether you choose to worship or not is up to you. And should you choose to not worship, you will have to answer to God. But if I don’t tell you the truth about worship and you choose not to worship, I will have to answer for God for not telling you the truth about worship.
I would not be meeting my pastoral duties if I did not tell you that worship is not about whether you want to or not.
If you are a Christian, you worship God. You worship God because God is God.
Our circumstances have changed due to covid, but that Christians worship God because God is God has not.
And, no. You cannot worship God in nature, or in isolation apart from the church. There is nothing in scripture that backs that. You need to be in the body of Christ, the church. And even if we cannot be together in person, we still can be together and worship God through the technologies God has given us.
I love you. It is an honor to be your pastor. The Little Church and Lakewoodgrace is healthy and we are growing even in the midst of the pandemic. Our online attendance is higher than our membership numbers, and what our average attendance was prior to covid.
We are absolutely committed to seeing God make new disciples, grow faithful disciples, and share the love of Jesus with all people. We do that by committing to weekly worship, small groups, and through acts of service.
This is not Pastor James’ or Pastor Brad’s or Pastor Bill’s idea. This is God’s idea.
Because I love you, I encourage you to commit to worship. Worship is what Christians do.
Know you are loved and you are in my prayers.