Pastor’s Blog

Recently, I referred to the Church By-Laws to ensure that our fellowship is conducting some of our affairs in accordance with our guidelines.  While browsing, I read again the guidelines for church members and their “duties”.  Every time I read this section, I am amazed at the changes that have occurred in our church over the years.  Allow me to explain.

In Article VIII, section 1 b, our by-laws state that members “shall be expected to attend all church services regularly unless providentially hindered and shall support the entire church program to the best of their ability.”

I thought of the congregation that approved this section and how they must have differed from our current church membership.  I asked myself if they could have envisioned a time when peoples’ schedules would be so busy that it would be impossible to attend all church services.  Of course, these articles were written in the 1960’s when travel and work schedules weren’t so demanding.  Certainly, there was no consideration of the future alternatives to congregational gathering (three times a week) that our culture so readily accepts.  How could they have forseen the rise of music and athletic events along with the increased opportunities for our children that we find so hard to resist?  And should we really deny our kids these opportunities?  How will our sons and daughters excel without making the most of what is offered?

And besides, the struggling economy and job market require that we invest so much time into our careers, can our churches really blame us or hold us accountable for occasionally missing a service?  I suppose I have to ask, “What were our churches of fifty years ago thinking?”

The answer seems simple.  Considering their own busy lives, the recognized the importance of the corporate gathering of believers for worship, prayer, and instruction in God’s Word.  Much has changed and our values have shifted, yet some things remain as important today as they were years ago.

“And let us consider how to srir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  

Hebrews 10:24-25