We should view church attendance as a training opportunity
In “Leading, Teaching and Making Disciples”, Dr. Michael Mitchell suggests that training primarily describes an athlete’s preparation for participating in games. Every American Christian should view church attendance as training for the game.
Too many church leaders consider what happens during the weekend worship experience as the game. Many church leaders throw all of their energy into making the weekend worship happen. One could presume this is backward thinking; a weekend worship experience should be the launching point that sends us into the game.
As nearly 4000 churches close their doors every year, we have a responsibility to begin training people to engage in the lordship of Jesus Christ. As church attendance dwindles in younger generations, we need to shift how we express surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I have spoken with many individuals in the millennial generation about what they hold dear. I often get responses that include making a difference in their world. I know many millennials who choose to focus their energy and finances on organizations that are impacting their communities. This could be a substantial reason younger generations do not view church attendance with much priority. According to Pew Research, one-third of those under age 30 say they attend worship services at least once a week, compared with 41% of adults 30 and older (including more than half of people 65 and older).
Church leaders must evaluate weekend worship experiences to determine if they are training individuals to be kingdom expanders throughout the week. This task potentially could shift how each church views the game. The weekend worship experience should operate as a launching point that dispenses individuals into the game for greater community impact.
In my early years of youth ministry, I attended several seminars/conferences through Sonlife Ministries (www.sonlife.com) and learned to develop a ministry philosophy that emphasized the discipline of spiritual formation. This philosophy taught me that large group ministry settings are necessary, but that I should prioritize small groups and intimate accountability groups. This is the environment where the best training and development will occur. I learned, based on Acts 2, there are four main components to surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I believe, as individual people surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, families will become stronger. I also believe church leaders will align into the proper foundation many churches need for a stable future. There are many passages in the Bible that support these concepts. There is also plenty of data to support that American Christians must surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Church attendance is important. If we call ourselves Christ-followers, then we must be connected with a local church. Next week, we’ll dive into spiritual nutrition.
 Mitchell, 137.
 Millennials: Confident, connected, open to change. Page 90.