"Arenas Are Full, Why Aren't Churches?"

December 16, 2021 | By Chuck

            I missed watching sports during the pandemic.  I’ve always been a huge sports fan and I enjoy watching games and golf on T.V.  So, those months without college or professional sports was strange and I missed it.  Sports have been back for a while and I’ve been watching as I did before and it seems to me that I’m not the only one who missed sports during the pandemic.  When I tune in to watch a game, I’ve noticed the arenas and stadiums are packed with people.  Huge galleries of people flock to the most popular golf courses on the PGA Tour to follow their favorite golfers.  Sports are back and the fans who missed them are back too. 

            Arenas, coliseums and stadiums are full but churches are not.  Most of the preachers I keep in touch with tell the same story.  Many members have returned to the church building since the pandemic, but many have not.  The reports I hear are that many church buildings are far from full on Sunday.  Did a pandemic and a few months lockdown destroy our spirituality?  Have we lost our spiritual appetite, no longer craving the spiritual growth we once did?  Have we become lulled into spiritual complacency by the allure of the sofa and livestream on Sunday morning? 

            Please understand that this is not meant to be critical or judgmental but rather a challenge.  I want to challenge everyone to take notice of where you are spiritually.  Spirituality and spiritual growth don’t just happen; both require effort on our part.  Church is not just something we do, it’s who we are.  And one of the things we do as the church is assemble to worship our Lord together.  We all reap many blessings from our time of worship together.  The church is better together and I believe it’s time for the church to be together. 

            “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you – that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine” (Rom. 1:11-12).   Paul looked forward to being with the church and the encouragement and strengthening that would result.  How can we encourage and strengthen one another if we aren’t together?  Brothers and sisters, I understand Paul’s point, I hope we all do and will posses a strong desire to be together.