Monday, October 11, 2004

church attendance

OK, I know this was Columbus Day weekend, but attendance at my church yesterday, and this fall in general, has been a bit lower than usual. I went through my member list, to see who I've been missing. The answer? Not anyone, really. It seems that people are all attending - just much more sporadically than usual, coming only 3/4 of Sundays in a month, or coming every 3rd Sunday or something. The biggest church attendance deterrent seems to be sports - I never thought I'd find myself despising them so much like I heard pastors complaining about them when I was growing up - I guess this is a pastor's version of turning into your parents when you get older.
How do you get people to see where they're really put church on their priority list, or their relationship with God? I think people like to have it both ways - to think that their relationship with God is their number one priority, but to not have that actually evidence by any behavior or action in their lives...
I know we all need a Sunday off sometimes to sleep in - I know I wish I could some weeks! But I think we've come to view religion as such a personal/private thing that community and public worship together doesn't seem very essential to us...
Rant for the day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about hating sports - I was shocked when I moved to Seattle from the midwest, and found that soccer games were actually scheduled on Sunday morning.

It doesnt all have to be bad news though. For example, I heard one of my seminary classmates relate a conversation he had with a parishioner who coached youth soccer. My classmate encouraged the man, who was apologizing for never being in church, to bring his worship to the game, and to pray that his coaching would be a ministry of Christ. The guy didnt come to church more often, but later he came to my colleague and thanked him for changing the way he approached his Sunday morning practice.

Anway, maybe instead of writing off all those sports lovers as church skippers, we could lift them up as evangelists!