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Made to Attend Church

Church Health/Growth Parenting Discipline (Corrective)

Contributed By: Mark Fuller | Date Posted: 2021-11-14

Scripture: Hebrews 10:25 ; Psalms 84:10

Author: Mark Fuller
1

ILLUSTRATION

So you don’t attend church today because you were forced to attend as a child? Such is the common complaint that I hear when the subject of church comes up with the unchurched. I understand. You were made to go. The only drug problem that your parents had was that they “drug” you to church. You didn’t particularly enjoy it, except for the Easter candy, the Christmas program, or maybe catching the eye of that pretty girl.

But the long, boring sermons were punishing. The Sunday School teacher thought you had a rotten attitude, and publicly called you out. You didn’t like wearing dressy clothes. And when the preacher talked, it seemed that he was looking right at you. You couldn’t stand singing in children’s choir and the list goes on.

So now, you refuse to attend. Furthermore, you resent the fact that your parents made you attend and have stalwartly determined NOT to require your children to attend church on the basis of allowing them to “make their own decisions.”

I understand. After all, that the church has been viewed as being too religious, judgmental, packed with hypocrites, and besides all that, they seem to want your hard-earned money.

While it may be true that the church, in general, has needed an overhaul in some ways, I would like to challenge you to consider another angle.

My parents not only made me attend EVERY church service (minimum of 3 days a week plus revival services), including extra youth service and prayer meetings, but they also made me carry my Bible. I brought an offering to Sunday School that came out of my allowance and had to memorize Bible verses. If we misbehaved in a church service, it might be that we were called out from the pulpit, or a “(h)usher” would attend our side. Rain or shine, we were in church!

APPLICATION

But please indulge me a bit longer. Perhaps my parents would have received a visit from DHS if it were known of the other cruelties that they imposed upon my young life. You see, they frequently “forced” me to do other things that I definitely would have chosen not to do if I had a choice. Let me give you the short list:

My cruel and inhumane parents “forced” me to do other things that I definitely would have chosen not to do if I had a choice:

  • “Forced” me to attend school. Not just 3 times a week, but every weekday.
  • They made me go to the Dentist, the Doctor, the family reunions, and the mall to by new shoes.
  • I had to visit the nursing home when they went and be fawned over by old ladies who smelled funny.
  • If I got in trouble at school, I usually got in worse trouble when I came home.
  • When I got home, there were certain things I was required to do call “chores.”
  • They forced me to do the homework that came with school.
  • We were required to sit down as a family every evening for a meal in a room where there was no TV
  • There were the gross and disgusting things call vegetables that we were required to wash down before we could have any desert.
  • We were encouraged to go outside and play with the dog on nice days.
  • We were required to take baths, brush our teeth, and clean up after ourselves.
  • Before we left for school, we had to make our beds.
  • We were required to make peace when we had disagreements with our siblings. Like brush my teeth. Take a bath. Eat my vegetables. Be nice to my siblings. Share. Lift the lid. Close when finished. Tuck your shirt in. Get out of bed. Get a haircut. Get good grades. Get an attitude adjustment. Get a job. Wow! Come to think of it, I guess my parents were downright abusive! Right.

Thank you, mom and dad, for being so harsh. Your tough love made me the man I am today.

Killfies

Self-absorbed Church Health/Growth Servanthood

Source: preacherpollard.com

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2018-06-27

Scripture: Philippians 2:3

Author: Neal Pollard
5

ILLUSTRATION

What do high cliff ledges, train tracks, animal game parks, bridges and buildings have in common? They are apparently popular sites for people to take selfies and places where over 200 people have died in the last 5 years in pursuit of that “perfect selfie.” The Economic Times of India, a country leading the world in deaths by selfies, reports that 86 people in 2016 and 73 people in 2017 died in this tragic, needless way. Since 2014, 128 have died in the course of taking selfies in this densely populated nation.

But other countries are getting involved in trying to stem the tide of such tragedies. Irish doctors reported, “The consequences of poorer spatial awareness and a focus on getting a good or daring photo has lead to multiple traumas” (Indulekha Aravind, 2/18/18).  There are people in Russia that have become celebrities because of their daring self-centered photos (ibid.). Nowhere social media has gone is there an exemption from this trend, including here in our country.

Because I do not have a background in psychology, I could be wrong about this but could these extraordinary lengths to capture oneself in these kinds of photos be an act of desperation for acceptance, friendship, or even love? Could the yearning for admiration, congratulations, and adulation drive people to disregard all restraint and precaution? 

APPLICATION

I do know that, as Henry David Thoreau said in 1854, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” (Walden, ch. 1, p. 8).  With selfies, we are able to project exactly the image or perception of ourselves that we want others to see. We don’t publish the unflattering or the boring. We want to be seen as valuable, relevant, and attractive. Why? Though we might lose our way in the process, human nature yearns for community and relationship (cf. Genesis. 2:24). 

By contrast, God formed the Church to be a place where we focus on others. Paul wrote, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians. 2:3-4).

So much about being Jesus’ disciples gets us outside ourselves and into the lives of others—not just other Christians but people from every walk of life outside of Christ. He wants our energy, effort, and focus to be turned outward. It’s not so much about projection as service. 

Does Your Church Really Care?

Compassion Church Health/Growth Outreach

Contributed By: Kory Ferree | Date Posted: 2017-07-31

Scripture: James 2:16 ; Mark 9:41

Author: Kory Ferree
9

ILLUSTRATION

A church sign can be a captivating advertisement for the community. A small church in a community had on their sign, "We Really Care about our Community."  Under that statement, it read, "Sunday, 11 am only."

APPLICATION

We display our love for Christ and demonstrate His love through acts of service. Whether we teach in a children's program or get involved in a church outreach ministry or just make ourselves available to help a neighbor, there are countless ways to make a difference for Christ in our community.  The church that only cares at 11:00 am on Sunday doesn't really care at all!

"If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?" (James 2:16). 

 

Church Bans Fat People From Leading Worship

Grace Legalism Church Health/Growth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-11-16

Scripture: James 5:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Joy Ride

Great Commission Priorities Church Health/Growth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-09-06

Scripture: Matthew 28:19 ; 1 Corinthians 9:2

Author: Illustration Exchange
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NASA'S Official Sniffer Snifs Out Danger In Space

Spiritual Gifts Church Health/Growth Church/Body of Christ

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-19

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:14

Author: NASA / Illustration Exchange
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NASA's Official Odor Sniffer Makes Space Flight Safer

Spiritual Gifts Church Health/Growth Church/Body of Christ

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-11

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:14

Author: NASA / Illustration Exchange
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LIght-years From Life

Church Health/Growth Spiritual Death False Teachers

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-05-20

Scripture: Revelation 3:1 ; Matthew 21:19

Author: John MacArthur
4

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Football Huddle

Church Health/Growth Church/Body of Christ Missions

Contributed By: Eric Hollar | Date Posted: 2015-04-17

Scripture: Matthew 5:14

Author: Carl Van Wy
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The Big Toe

Spiritual Gifts Church Health/Growth Unity

Contributed By: Chris Horton | Date Posted: 2015-03-08

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:21

Author: Ray C. Stedman
12

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