Apathy and the Church

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. – Revelation 2:5

If I told you the modern church suffers from apathy, would you care?

Take a look around you next time you go to church – whenever that might be. One study finds only 23 to 25 percent of Americans attend church three of any eight Sundays. On any given Sunday, in fact, only 17.7 percent of Americans are actually in church, and the majority of Americans do even belong to a local church.

As of 2007, the United States ranked behind China and India – hardly considered Christian nations – in the number of professing Christians.

Then there’s giving. Even during the Great Depression, church members, though they understandably fell far short of the 10 percent tithe, gave 3.3 percent of their incomes to the church. Today that amount has dropped to 2.3 percent.

But while we can’t get people to get excited about attending church or giving to the work of the Lord, we have no trouble filling up streets, parks and malls with people trying to find Pokemon.

No, it’s not wrong to play games and to interact. God wants us to enjoy the world He has given us, and he wants us to interact. But He intends us to make His purposes our purposes as our hearts resonate with His. We are not our own. We were bought with a price, a very great price indeed.

Go and tell. Give as it has been given unto you. Do the works I have done.

Where is our passion for the Lord? Where is our burden for the lost? Where  is our heart for serving? And where on earth is Pikachu?

We need to do those things we did in the beginning: not ceasing to gather together; spurring one another on toward love and good deeds; bearing one another’s burdens; giving generously to the work of the Lord, knowing our labor in the Lord is not in vain. Giving of ourselves is a sacrifice.

I am an insomniac. Mornings can be brutal. Many times I have found myself wanting to stay in bed on a Sunday instead of going to church early and singing in the choir or praise team. But then I remember the people who have stopped me at church over the years and told me how they look for me in the choir, and how seeing me up there encourages them. Giving of ourselves pales in comparison to the ultimate sacrifice.

Have you ever considered your presence at church could be an encouragement to someone? Have you ever considered you yourself may need the encouragement – not to mention the teaching, correcting, rebuking or training in righteousness?

Have you ever considered what a difference your gifts could make to the church, how your faithfulness could encourage others to step out on faith? And have you ever considered how Christians could rock the world if every regular attendee gave something? Imagine what could happen if we tithed.

Play games. Go out in public. And by all means, walk more. Enjoy life. But in the back of your mind, always look for ways to be missional. Make the most of every opportunity as you interact with the unsaved. And bring them with you to church on Sunday.

Who knows? In searching for Pikachu, you may find someone who needs to hear about Jesus. And nothing revives a Christian’s heart more than seeing a new soul born into the kingdom.

Finish strong, my friends.

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