As a small church pastor, I have wrestled with church attendance for years. As a matter of fact, I may have been guilty of focusing on church attendance too much. Yet, in my defense, church attendance is really one of the quickest indicators that we, pastors, are able to see how well God is using us as shepherds of his flock. I would like to say life-change could be another indicator, and maybe it can, but that indicator is what The Holy Spirit uses. After all, He is the One who is able to change people’s lives.
To explain myself better, I would like to assure you that these thoughts are not those of a depressed pastor who is struggling to make sense of lack of attendance. Or are they? You decide. Yet, I have been in ministry for 12 years now. I have gone from expecting those who follow Christ to be at church every night of the week to one morning a week. As you can see, I have either lowered my expectations for attendance at worship as well as participation once a week in spiritual education and edification. Nevertheless, Brady and I have had a discussion about what I, as a pastor, should realistically expect from church members, not just Covenant but all who attend, as an A+ effort. Does God expect His followers to worship often on the Day that Christ arose from the dead? Is that still significant? I think so, but I would like your thoughts.
So I would like to know your opinions. Should a Christian commit his or herself to attending Sunday morning worship at least 48 times a year? Another question. Is it important which day of the week a Christian worships? Another question. Is worship service important for the Christian? Or, is small group discipleship enough?
I would like inputs from both clergy and laymen on this topic.