By Jack Wilkie
Church attendance can be a touchy subject. In a world that seems busier than ever, making it on Sunday mornings can be tough. But for those who make it a priority, worship isn’t something to be missed. Others, however, don’t seem to grasp the importance of prioritizing Sunday morning. Obviously I’m not talking about the sick, the infirm, or those who are kept away on occasion by unusual circumstances. It’s those who make a habit of missing, and who do so by choice. But the fact is, on those Sundays that they missed, they didn’t skip church. They just worshiped at another church.
For some, the bed is their other church. Saturday night ran over with movies or friends or whatever else was going on, and so Sunday morning will be spent worshiping another hour of sleep. Monday’s work and school won’t be preempted for sleep, so God is the one who gets placed on the back burner.
For some, work is their other church. There are certainly those who are caught in a work arrangement that doesn’t allow them the time for gathering with their church family each Sunday, but there are also those who have the choice and decide to take the extra shift. For those folks who have a choice and neglect worshiping God, Sundays are spent worshiping a few extra bucks instead.
For some, sports are their other church. Whether it’s the big game on TV or the youth sports a family is involved in, when sports win out over assembling with the saints, they’ve become a church of their own.
For others, leisure activities are their other church. The weather is great and it’s a perfect opportunity to go fishing/camping/riding/etc. God is important most Sundays, but every now and then He just needs to take a back seat to the opportunity to go have some fun somewhere else.
The Old Testament makes it abundantly clear that God has no interest in a relationship where He isn’t prioritized. Malachi 1 shows how God feels when His people are content to offer Him leftovers: “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand” (v.10, ESV).
If God only gets the Sundays that aren’t occupied by something “more important” or something that you’d rather be doing, you’re serving Him leftovers. He loves you, and He wants a relationship with you so much that He was willing to die for you… but He’s not interested in leftovers.
Which church will you be attending this Sunday?