OceanSide church of Christ

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Consider Your Ways: Attendance
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.              Introduction

A.   God told the prophet Haggai, “Consider your ways”

                                          i.    During this study we want to consider our ways with regards to our attendance

1.    We are discussing those who willfully miss the assembly

2.    We are not discussing those who want to be here but just can’t make it due to health or similar reason

B.   A preacher once said he never spoke on attendance

                                          i.    This is odd because attendance is such a problem in all congregations

                                        ii.    When asked why he said, “I don’t preach on attendance because the lack of attendance is symptom of the problem. The real problem is a matter of the heart”

C.   There are two categories of Christians

                                          i.    One group is those who say, “How little can I do and get into Heaven”

                                        ii.    The second group is those precious souls who say, “How much can I do in the service of my Lord?”

II.            Consider your attitude

A.   Do I have an attitude of gratitude (Col 2:6-7)?

                                          i.    What the Lord has done for us ought to affect the way we are living

                                        ii.    Someone who is truly grateful for what the Lord has done for them will be at every service each week

B.   Do I have an attitude of sincerely wanting to please the Lord (1 Thess 4:1)?

                                          i.    Paul says we ought to abound in those things that are pleasing to God

                                        ii.    Our attendance would certainly be included

C.   Do I have an attitude of praising God and bringing Him glory (Eph 3:21, Phil 1:11)?

                                          i.    God received glory in the church

                                        ii.    Paul says be filled with the fruits of righteousness not be scant

D.   Do I have an attitude of fervency (Rom 12:11)?

                                          i.    The Greek term means to glow red when used of solids and to boil when used of liquids

1.    The word means to be on fire for the Lord

2.    Show me someone on fire for God and I’ll show you someone we don’t have to beg to get up on Sunday morning

III.           Consider your time

A.   A week has 168 hours

                                          i.    A typical church meets 4 hours each week

                                        ii.    4 out of 168 is 2.38%

                                       iii.    Some actually claim they do not have time to attend church

B.   In the context of time, James says to those who know to do good and don’t it is sin

                                          i.    Our attendance is certainly a good thing we know to do

                                        ii.    What does that imply about our soul if we do not?

IV.          Consider your example

A.    Ask yourself, “what if everyone attended services as I do?”

                                          i.    If you are regular in your attendance the congregation would be at max capacity

                                        ii.    If you only attend Sunday morning the preacher will be alone every other service

B.   We learn as a child the principle of “monkey see monkey do”

                                          i.    What if someone saw your lack of attendance and it encouraged them to stop coming?

                                        ii.    It should make us shudder to think of leading others to sin and potentially lose their souls because of our irresponsibility

V.           Consider your elders

A.   Elders are the shepherds of the flock (Acts 20:28)

                                          i.    They feed us as the flock (1 Peter 5:2)

                                        ii.    The necessary inference is that they have the authority to choose the feeding times

1.    It might be Wednesday or it might be any other day as long as the Lord’s day is the day of worship

2.    To not show up to their expected feeding times is to neglect our responsibility to them (Heb 13:17)

VI.          Consider your brethren

A.   It truly lights up the service when you come (Matt 5:16)

                                          i.    Not being there discourages others

                                        ii.    Not being there disappoints others

B.   The Hebrew writer says to consider your brethren to provoke them to love and good works (Heb 10:24-25)

                                          i.    Interestingly, the way to do that is to avoid forsaking the assembly

                                        ii.    How can I provoke my brethren for good when I am not here?

VII.         Consider your soul

A.   We can debate this all day but the fact of the matter is, if we are faithful we will be here

                                          i.    A faithful Christian has God as the number one priority

1.    If God is at the top then service will be our top priority for our time if, of course, we are able to come

B.   Jesus discusses the wise and foolish man (Matt 7:24-27)

                                          i.    Notice both the men heard the saying but only one did them

                                        ii.    Great is the fall of the one who doesn’t

1.    This is a reference to the soul

2.    No greater loss can someone have than to lose their soul

VIII.       Consider your Savior

A.   What if Jesus had been absent that Friday night in the garden of Gethsemane?