The dismal statistics about church attendance continue to rock evangelicalism. Many Christians find the church irrelevant, outdated, and judgmental. Some feel that it messes up a much-needed weekend off. Others have been wounded by the church in some way and want to avoid more pain. Still others see the church as just one slice of their life, and even then it's really not that important; they can get along without it just fine. After all, there's plenty of church services online these days if you really feel the need.
I hope you understand that when I say "the church" I am not talking about a physical building, but the people of God gathered, wherever that might be. I have been involved in local church ministry at various levels my entire life and I will admit I've seen and heard a lot.
A local church is unlike any other business or organization in the world because it represents Jesus Christ, and in the spiritual realm, those are fighting words.
The enemy of God works hard to diminish the influence of the church and all those in it. He desires to frustrate, divide, question, compromise, neutralize, and reprioritize the people of God, to name a few. He is always working behind the scenes to capture the hearts and minds of people and turn them away from God and each other.
Let me remind you today that while imperfect, the church (Bride of Christ) is the most important force in the world today. It has a responsibility that is more important than all of the governments and universities in the world combined. Why? Because it belongs to Jesus Christ. He said, "I will build My Church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). This means that nothing will stop the building of His church! The Apostle Paul emphasized this by stating, "it is the pillar and support of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).
Never equate small numbers with less importance. God is far more interested in the faithfulness of a few committed people than multitudes of half-hearted Christians - think Gideon! When we commit ourselves to His church, we’re committed to the only cause that will triumph.
Pastor Brian Richard