We are hearing good news. At the time of this writing, I am told that close to 55% of Canadians have received their first vaccine.
The target for the Canadian government has been that 75% of Canadians should have received their first vaccine and 20% their second vaccine when opening back up to life as we had once known it can resume. Since those days will soon be upon us, we have to assume that Church buildings will be permitted to resume worship services at full capacity.
But what has happened through the pandemic? Barna research reports that in the US, approximately one in three Christians have stopped attending church online. Barna reports that there are those who have started attending online during the pandemic, but this group was considered statistically insignificant. About
– 35% are attending their home church online
– 14% have switched
– 32% stopped attending any church
– 18% attended multiple churches
We have yet to see how this will play out after churches are allowed back to full capacity. There are those that feel that what has occurred during the pandemic is an anomaly. From this perspective, people will return. For my part, that is my prayer. But I am aware of some troubling reports coming from the US. In some places in the U.S., where full capacity has been permitted for some time, the results are discouraging. Some large churches report that they are running about 50% of what they had experienced before the pandemic. Since I am not a prophet, I do not know what will occur. But I would like to give 4 reasons why every Christian should recommit to regular weekly church attendance and commitment to their local church.
4 reasons why every Christian should recommit to regular weekly church attendance and commitment to their local church.
Reason #1: It is a divine command
It is imperative that we remind ourselves that we must not give up the habit of meeting together, even if that habit has been temporarily broken because of a global health crisis. Once the crisis is over, the habit of meeting together must continue.
Reason #2: The church is central to God’s plans
In Ephesians 3:9-10, Paul reminds us,“…what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known…” Christ died for his church. Furthermore, God has determined that his church would be the vehicle through which his wisdom is made known. Let us, therefore, determine to have the same agenda as God.
Reason #3: We need our brothers and sisters in Christ
Let’s be reminded that, as Hebrews tells us, it is not just that we are commanded to meet together, but that we are to encourage one another on in love and good deeds. Fellowship, bearing each other’s burdens, using our spiritual gifts to serve one another and praying with others are all a part of the experience of church. The impulse to care for one another must not be forgotten after the long experience of online church.
Reason #4: We need to worship together, be taught the word, and share in the ordinances in a communal setting
When we do this together, we proclaim the importance of the gospel. When we do this, we tell our children that this is valuable. When we do this, we re-emphasize that we are more than individuals who believe, rather we are a community.
As soon as we are allowed and it is safe, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all meet together.