Why do families skip church on Sunday? Why is our Sunday school attendance going down? Why do kids stop coming to our Wednesday night programs? There are all kinds of answers to these questions. We can blame our kids’ sports league, Netflix, social media, the low price of gas, and a the weather.
But what about us? What about our churches, our programs, and our kids’ activities? Is it possible that the problem is not out there but in here? Is it possible that people no longer view church as a priority because we, the church, are longer offering anything compelling? It’s possible.
Now before I go further, I want to hedge off one concern. I am not advocating for Christian consumerism. I am not advocating for hanging lights, creating crazy worship sets, and installing bouncy houses so that our churches will begin to resemble Disney World. We do not need to appeal to sinners via their sinful flesh. As James McDonald said in his book, Vertical Church:
If you build your church on celebrity guests and circus chicanery of all sorts, you will attract the kind of people who want shallow service and grow them into snotty-nosed, high-demand, never-satisfied “disciples.”
What About The Glory?
We need to offer something much, much greater. We need to point people to God. Specifically, we need to call people to worship the one true God. What is true worship? “Worship is the magnification of God and the minimization of self.” Christ came so that he might be glorified through us. As John 1:14 reports:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The church exists to glorify the savior of the world. We exist to help people (even kids) to escape their selfish hearts by making much of God. As Paul David Tripp writes,
Children’s Ministry must have as its goal to ignite in young children a life-shaping awe of God.
And when adults, youth, and kids interact with the glory of God, hearts change, lives become altered, and the kingdom grows. Our goal as leaders, teachers, and ambassadors in the church should be to introduce our families to the majesty and the glory of God. We exist to promote the awe of God through worship.
What About Us?
Is this happening in our church? Do people regularly walk into our buildings and experience the glory and the majesty of God? Or is the height of their church experience a few cool crafts, a warm handshake, and a casual conversation about the latest football game? If our church is nothing more than a religious, social event, our people can easily skip it. But if our church is a venue through which people corporately experience the wonder of the one true God, our people will come. God’s glory and majesty is infinitely more compelling than any program we can think of. Every ministry in our church should be exist to connect people to God through worship. Are we doing this? Are we connecting people to God?