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When Church Attendance Becomes Your Idol

Lately, have you caught yourself saying, “When the pandemic is over…”?

Like, “When the pandemic is over, I’m going to go on vacation.”

Or, “When the pandemic is over, our church, community, etc. will go back to normal.”

To say that the pandemic threw a wrench in the plan for many people would be an understatement.

Churches were forced to make drastic changes to their weekly programming in hopes of continuing to engage people. They had to become live-streaming experts overnight and figure out how to reach their people, and even new people, whether it be virtually or through socially distant meetings.

It required an incredible amount of creativity for church staff to completely restructure their programming.

Throughout all of this change, many pastors saw a decline in attendance across the board, and many people didn’t return when in-person services began in some areas.

There isn’t a single church in North America today that isn’t talking about how they can get people to come back to church and get re-engaged in order to see their attendance rise. For some pastors, these numbers are used to measure the health and success of their church. It’s a source of anxiety for many pastors as they look toward the future of their church.

But what if we changed our perspective?

It can be easy for us to view the challenges of this past year in a completely negative light. A hurdle that we have to jump in order to get back on the path that we thought was for us.

What if, instead, we start to see that God could be using this as an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with the people who are still consistently coming?

What if this season is meant to be a time for you and your staff to build the foundation for the future of your church? Not the financial foundation for the future, but the spiritual foundation of your people who are engaged now.

Having thousands of people attending your church, whether it be in person or online, doesn’t indicate that you have a healthy church. It means you have a popular church. The number of views on your Facebook video don’t always translate into hearts being changed.

Has your church cultivated a community where your people are genuinely invested in one another? Do you, as mentioned in Ephesians 4, “bear with one another in love?” Are the people in your church prepared to share the Gospel in any situation?

Do the people in your church know how to build relationships with people in order to make disciples? Does your staff demonstrate how to do so?

Today, ask God to change your perspective. Ask Him to expose areas in your ministry that can be improved. Ask God to put specific action steps on your heart to cultivate a culture of disciple-making as the foundation for your church.

Life in ministry can be lonely, but you don’t have to go through it alone. If you’re struggling to figure out how to develop a disciple-making culture in your ministry, we want to invite you to the discipleFIRST | hub. Learn more here






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