Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

If Our Kids Would Say…

“We were in church every time the doors were open.”

I have heard this sentence or something like it many times in my life. I have heard it uttered by Christians and townspeople in describing their upbringing. I have even heard it in some interviews with actors and musicians detailing the culture in which they were raised. There was a time in which time with God was honored above everything else. People put on their Sunday best and showed up to worship, Bible class, and all other church-sponsored activities.

Those days are long gone. We live in a day and age when some churches have shut their doors for good. Other churches struggle to get people to attend any service or activity outside of Sunday morning worship. The expectation has shifted from “people will show up” to “people probably won’t show up.” The impact of our secular culture is apparent on Wednesday nights when gymnasiums and ballparks are full while many churches are half-full or empty.

I do not want it to seem as if all was perfect in previous years. Viewing the past through rose-tinted glasses is not helpful. When worship and Bible class were a priority, many churches failed to see past the walls of their building. Everything was about what happened inside the church building, and there was little focus on being the church in the community. There were plenty of opportunities to expand one’s Bible knowledge, but few opportunities to serve the poor or minister to people in need. The focus in recent years on what is happening outside the church building has been a needed corrective.

Younger Christians are eager to live out their faith. They want to serve and help beyond the walls of the building. This is great, but we must also not forget the importance of meeting together. The church will not survive on good works alone. We need doctrine. We need to grow in our knowledge of the Bible. We need the encouragement and fellowship that we get from regularly being in the presence of other Christians. It does us no good to give up study or fellowship for service.

The abandonment of services and activities outside of Sunday morning is not unique to young people. Grandparents and parents are absent as well. We face many challenges as human beings. Giving up time with Christians and time in God’s word is not going to help us. We have faced a challenging year, and there will likely be more challenging times in our future. If anything, we need more time together, not less. Time spent in Christian community is God’s plan. We are in danger of losing this if all we can give is one hour on Sunday. We need more. We need it for ourselves. We need it for our kids. Coming together as a Christian community is a wonderful blessing, and now is not the time to abandon it.

What a marvelous thing it would be if our kids and grandkids would one day say, “We were in church every time the doors were open.”

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