So why back to church? Does that suggest that there are people who used to go regularly but don’t any longer? Absolutely. Does it also suggest that there are people who come for the main holidays and no more than a few times a year? Yes. Since this is not the Bible Belt, where church is more a part of the culture; are there some in our community where church was never a thing, to begin with? Yes again. When we say “Back To Church Sunday,” it takes into account all three scenarios, not to mention those who may be regular attenders during most of the year, but with school being out and vacations during summer months, tend to lay low. So in that case, people go back to school and back to church—along with normal work routines. That is certainly the expectation— that people see the vital importance of being a regular part of a church.
Indeed, it is the responsibility of churches to make sure everyone entering its doors feel welcome and to be given an opportunity to connect with God and His people. There is no magic formula. Simply provide an environment to proclaim God’s Word, live under its authority and love one another. This is how you know that you belong to the family of God! That is the mission of Island Christian Church— in fact, we announce it every Sunday:
- To glorify the Lord, our Light, and salvation (Ps 27:1)
- To walk in the Light of fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7)
- To shine His Light in the World (Matt 5: 16)
This is church as it was meant to be— full of hope and encouragement for all who enter it. Where you won’t find perfect people, but you will find a place to feel welcomed, inspired and challenged. A place to belong, because we all need to belong!
I found a great article, “Why Go to Church? 50+ Things You Miss by Not Attending Church,” by Kevin Halloran. These are all Scripture based reasons. Here’s the top 5— you can read the entire article here.
1. You miss out on obedience to the command to not give up meeting together (Hebrews 10:24-25).
2. You miss out on loving God in your obedience, and as a result, experiencing him more deeply (John 14:21).
3. You miss out on loving Jesus by loving the bride he laid his life down for (Ephesians 5:25-27; Acts 20:28).
4. You miss out on hearing God’s Word faithfully proclaimed, and thus growing in faith (2 Timothy 4:1-2; Romans 10:17).
5. You miss out on hearing God’s Word applied specifically to you, your culture, and community (1 Corinthians 2:5; 2 Timothy 4:1-2).
– Pastor Joe Garofalo