Suddenly it all made sense. No wonder these kids wandered away from church – which almost inevitably leads to wandering away from God. Church – gathering with the people of God – was optional, a nice thing to do once a week as long as it was convenient and didn’t conflict with family or other plans.
Off at college they saw no need to get connected to the local church. The were busy with their lives, their schedule, their priorities.
I know this probably sounds hyper-legalistic but let me encourage you – when the people of God gather (a.k.a. church) you need to be there and be involved.
Not out of obligation – Jana and I never went because we had to. It just made sense, and our kids grew up knowing it was what we all did. “Family first” meant when God’s folks gathered we would be there. If traveling, on vacation, visiting family, whatever, our plans, priorities and schedule revolved around connecting with God’s eternal “Family First”.
Next time you barbecue, after the coals are nice and red-hot, take about six of them out and set them aside. Then set one aside by itself and watch what happens.
The “family” of six coals will stay hot awhile but not as long as the big gathering. And the poor coal that is “living on his own” – off at college or working – will cool very quickly apart from the other coals.
If you want to stay red hot in your walk with God stay connected to the big pile of coals. Keep your little family tied into the pit. As often as possible gather with the other coals where you can draw heat from them and help others by sharing your heat.
We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.
– Hebrews 10:25
Then Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. As usual he went into the synagogue on the day of worship.
– Luke 4:16