My son told me that a friend of his said his church was only open on Christmas and Easter. I immediately laughed. My son was a bit perplexed at my reaction and I explained to him that his friend’s church was open all year round but that his classmate probably only went to church on Christmas and Easter.
That family, obviously, is part of the C & E club. Church attendance only warrants going on Christmas and Easter for them. They’re not the only ones in that club. In fact, at my church there is hardly a seat to be found around those holidays whereas on other days I can have a pick of rows of where we want to sit.
The C & E club is a tough crowd. I am sure that as a pastor it is hard to gauge what message is important knowing that you only have the C & E club specifically at those times. How do you reach the people who only think church is important on Christmas and Easter? More importantly why do people, who fail to acknowledge Sunday Sabbath throughout the year, even feel compelled to attend church on the most religious holidays of the year?
Now this post is not about church attendance and conviction. If going to church made a person more spiritual or an award-winning Christian then hallelujah there are millions of saints “in the house”. However, no matter what faith denomination a person attends, I do know one thing – attending church will never guarantee your safe passage to the pearly gates.
So I don’t admonish the C & E attendees. I think the fact that they are acknowledging their faith and belief in both the birth and death of Christ, even on just two times of the year, says something about their pursuit for faith and belief. I think my question is more for the church. Why does the church fail to reach these club members to have them pursue a more regular attendance? Does the church soften the message of salvation and the need for Christ specifically on these days or is this the only time that the church truly speaks the message of the cross?
I am not a pastor or even in any kind of church role leadership so I have no idea of the magnitude and responsibility in trying to reach the C & E members or even ministering to the regular attendees. They truly are two different clubs. However, perhaps that’s the crux of this dilemma. The church of Christ was never intended to be a club. The church is an extension of one’s faith in Jesus Christ. It’s not about attending every time the doors open and it’s not about going at just significant times. The church was not built to need club members. It was built so that we would find spiritual refuge among the body of Christ.
There are specifically two times throughout the year that the church celebrates the birth and death of our Savior; Christmas and Easter. The C & E club arrives for the message of salvation and the cross. Maybe the church should stop trying so hard to attract the C & E members with their latest programs or new wave evangelism but instead learn a lesson from the C & E club. After all, scriptures have already shown us that the simplicity of the message of the cross is what always attracts the greatest crowds.