Is Church Attendance a Priority?

New polls show that many people who attend church once a month or quarter or maybe even twice a year consider themselves to be "regular attenders".  This has resulted in a new classification of church attenders called "Chresters"  (Christmas and Easter attenders).  It seems that the younger generation does not see church attendance as a priority.  Perhaps they have forgotten that the fact of their parents or grandparents being consistent in their church attendance is a factor in their coming into a relationship with God.  It doesn't take much for such people to miss church; visiting relatives, hobbies, family time, preparation for the coming work week all take precedence over church attendance.
Once when I was a Youth Pastor, I devised a plan to emphasize the flippant attitude many of them had toward church.  With only a couple of people being aware of what was up, I did not show up for Youth Group on a Wednesday evening.  After waiting for about 10 minutes, one of the youth (who was not in on the plan) called me.  "Bro. B". they said, "We are all gathered in the Youth room and wondering where you are."  "Oh", I responded.  "There is an episode of a show that I like that is on tonight, so I decided to stay home and watch it.  You guys go on without me."  After an awkward pause, the caller said, "Really?  You're not coming?"  "No" I answered.  "I'll see you Sunday."  With that I hung up and immediately left my house to head for the church.  About 20 minutes late I walked in to a very confused and upset youth group and made the point that many of them did regularly exactly what I had done.  The point was made.
So I ask you, dear reader, where is church attendance on your priority list?  Do you decide each week whether or not you will attend depending on what else might be going on, or do you consider church attendance important enough that it is a given that on Sunday you will be in your place?  Remember Hebrews 10:24-24?  "And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day (of the Lord) approaching."

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