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Consistency in Faith

by Pastor Alan Davis

In our culture today one of the most prevalent problems churches have is consistency of members. LifeWay’s research of the most recent statistics on church attendance reveals an alarming trend. Baptist church members consider regular attendance to be 50% while just a few years ago the same people considered regular attendance to be 75%. This translates in a similar fashion to church sponsored Bible studies. It is an alarming trend when those who claim to possess the Spirit of God hold a low view of the Bride of Christ. We are told through scripture to not neglect the regular gathering of the saints. The New Testament places emphasis on the local body of Christ and a firm commitment of each believer to the local body.

The results of this downward trend are debilitating in several ways. First when one only comes 50% of the time to their local church they miss out on 50% of the Biblical instruction through preaching and teaching. Imagine if one only went to 50% of all their college classes. They would be dropped and would not receive any credit for the class. However IF the professor allowed it to happen the vast majority of the students would still fail the class due to only experiencing 50% of the instruction time. So those who attend on this “new” regular attendance schedule will be ill equipped when the storms of life hit them. They will not be scripturally prepared for the hard times or to make solid decisions in their life. It also may reveal a more pressing problem in the individual. If they do not care to be with the local body any more than 50% of the time it reveals a deep spiritual problem that at best points out a backslidden state or at worst an unconverted church member.

This trend also spells trouble for the local church. Have we failed to convey the love and commitment for the local body to our members? Are we giving them biblical tools to live by and with or are they being just entertained when they do attend? Does the local church have any gracious accountability built in that would address this? The church operates every week and inconsistency of workers leaves the local church scrambling to fill positions, some at the last minute.

It would do the church well to do an honest assessment of what we are feeding the sheep when they come. It would do those who claim the name of Christ and who have made a commitment to a local church well to honestly critique their church attendance in the light of scripture and prayer. Both would come out the better for it.

Sola Scriptura,
Pastor Alan Davis
Woodland Baptist Church
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