Attendance-citis? “Religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance.” –William Booth
Beware of attendance-citis — attending church without attending to the voice of the living Jesus. Attendance-citis makes Christianity an appendix to life, not it’s main focus. Scripture warns against attendance-citis. It says; “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, from such turn away.”
Attending church without actively depending on the risen Jesus can lead to a sever case of attendance-citis. Here are 5 symptoms of church attendance-citis: 1) boredom, 2) nodding off, 3) obligatory attendance, 4) guilt for not going, and 5) spiritual passivity (being “a hearer of the word but not a doer of the word.”)
Hearing sermons, without hands-on, practical training in how to live a Spirit-led Christian life, often leads to church attendance-citis. Institutional attendance-citis infects a church when counting attendance becomes more important than people experiencing the presence of Christ. When getting people into church is more important than getting the risen Jesus into people, that’s institutional attendance-citis.
If 90% of your Christianity is just showing up for church, you may have individual attendance-citis. You might have attendance-citis if you attend church regularly but obey Christ irregularly. You might have attendance-citis if you’re continually showing up for church without growing up in Christ.
Church attendance-citis counts people instead of holding people accountable to actually live a Christian lifestyle. Surrender to and obedience to the Holy Spirit cures attendance-cities. (However, it might also get you thrown out of church.)
Christians are wired for the Holy Spirit, but many have flipped the circuitbreaker. To practice religion but miss the reality of the risen Jesus is like hearing talks about aerodynamics but never flying. Heads up! Look beyond religion to the Head of the body of Christ — the living, resurrected Jesus!
Don’t drydock your faith and settle for attendance-citis sermons about sailing. Learn to freely sail with the Holy Spirit’s wind! A wave on the sea needs no human control; neither does a wave of the Holy Spirit. “Quench not the Spirit.” (The Bible never says, “Quench not the program, the preacher, or the protocol.” It says, “Quench not the Spirit.”)
God’s Presence is more important than program, preacher, or protocol. Perhaps most of our time in church should be focused on Him.
Biblically Christianity is about following the wonderful Savior, not about looking for a wonderful pastor. Perhaps we don’t want to understand the Bible, because if we let its words touch our heart, we may feel obligated to actually follow it and put an end to attendance-citis.