What connotations does summer evoke in your mind? Maybe terms such as hammock, sandals, family, grill, and vacation come to your mind like they do mine. The question is do the words faithful church attendance not only come to your mind but exude from your life during ALL seasons? If this summer finds you as an inconsistent church member or a discouraged church leader, I would like to share what the Lord has been teaching me.
This visual lesson involves a trampoline of all things. I have observed in my years of trampolining (I don’t think that is an actual word) not only some actions that can hurt us but also some things that can help us. Who goes higher, the person who bounces once or the person who bounces repeatedly? Obviously the more bounces the greater heights that are reached. Here is the principle-The key to “being in church every time the doors are open” is not just about begrudging faithfulness; it is about exponential flourishing in God’s bounce house.
Those proficient on the trampoline also know that the greatest launch is possible only with the aid of the “double bounce.” This moment is achieved when someone else times their bounce for the vertical benefit of another. These spiritual double bounces are vital to the growth of our church family members.
There are three “double bounces” FOR you: (Ephesians 4)
1. Your Benefit of Spiritual Gifts (11-12)
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”
2. Your Development of Christ’s Character (13)
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
3. Your Stability of Biblical Truth (14-15)
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”
There are three “double bounces” FROM you: (Hebrews 10)
1. Their Renewal of Close Confidence (22-23)
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”
2. Their Challenge of Heartfelt Ministry (24)
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:”
3. Their Reminder of Christ’s Return (25)
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
I truly believe the present decay of church attendance is found in the common delusion that we do not need church. Nothing could be further from the truth! Often church attendance is only evaluated based upon how it affects the church as an institution. Your faithfulness and mine also highly impact the INDIVIDUAL. Did you notice the phrase in Hebrews 10:24, “consider one another”? May I challenge you to eradicate the rudeness that exists between you and the Lord and between you and those God brings to your church home. On behalf of pastors everywhere, I will let you know nothing is more disappointing to us than have an unsaved or under-churched visitor come to a service that is lightly attended by the regulars. If God calls you to join a church, He calls you to be there every time that same church opens its doors.
As the trampoline testifies, church attendance is not just about “being there” it is about collectively bouncing there. While I do understand there are a few isolated reasons that hinder being in church, MOST of our reasons are weak, carnal, and inconsiderate excuses. Through exposure to the social media activity of many believers, I have observed that we always make time for what we need and want. Do you realize how much latent potential stays home when God’s people should be in church? Buck the trend. Shock your pastor. Fill your seat. Shoulder the ministry. Be in church, the only “bounce house,” where worshipping UP, fellowshipping UP, and growing UP happen God’s way.