Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Ps. 37:5-6
In a recent article written by Thom Rainer, the author of “Simple Church”, he argues that the number one reason why church attendance is declining in America is because members attend with less frequency than they did just a few years ago. He says, “If the frequency of attendance changes, then attendance will respond accordingly. For example, if 200 members attend every week the average attendance is, obviously, 200. But if one-half of those members miss only one out of four weeks, the attendance drops to 175. Did you catch that? No members left the church. Everyone is still relatively active in the church. But attendance declined over 12 percent because half the members changed their attendance behavior slightly.”[i] In other words, our attendance at worship matters greatly.
I believe the heart of the problem is not declining numbers but really a problem of commitment. Several months ago we participated in a bible study entitled “I Am A Church Member”, by Thom Rainer. The book challenged churches to a spirit of commitment by:
- Raising the expectations of membership. You may be surprised how many church members don’t really think it’s that important to be an active part of the church. No one has ever told them differently.
- Requiring an entry class for membership. The class should be used to state the expectations of what a committed member looks like.
- Encouraging ministry involvement. Many members become less frequent attendees because they have no ministry roles in the church. They do not feel like they are an integral part of the church.
- Reaching out to members who are absent from worship. Members are less likely to be absent if they know someone misses them.
Greater Mt. Sinai Baptist Church is committed to following the Lord’s example of commitment in sacrifice and service. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). We remain totally committed to Jesus, as He is our sole authority, our guiding light, and our unerring compass.
Remember, being committed to Christ means being fruitful; it means being a servant and it means being faithful in attendance at worship. Our axiom is simple and succinct: “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).
Rev. Dr. Major Stewart, Pastor
Greater Mt. Sinai Baptist Church
Sunday, January 21, 2018