Would You Go to Church?
I go to church most Sundays, but of course I'm a pastor. Vacations are times I might not go, but they can also be good opportunities to visit other churches. There are reasons to stay home from church, but not many solid reasons compared to Christians around the world. Here in the USA, sometimes people who attend church decide that they won't go to church for a particular reason one week. It could be a a sore elbow, too tired, soccer game, too hot, too cold, too windy, cat is missing, or whatever. We prioritize work, go to work even when it's too hot, but not church. Why? Not sure. Then you hear of church members in Africa walking to church even though there may be land mines in the path. Wow! I am impressed with the dedication of church attenders around the world.
Two weeks ago I received news that a pastor in China was arrested. Weeks ago his church was raided and he was told to stop meeting. The pastor shared the gospel with the officers. Although threatened, the church members continued to attend church the following week! That Sunday, about 20 officers interrupted the service, took everyone's name in attendance and charged the pastor a fine of 50,000 RMB ($7500), which he is unable and unwilling to pay. The officers shut down the service, confiscated computers, took away certain privileges, and closed a training school they had as well. The members continue to meet in secret. They ask for boldness to be a witness for our Lord. Pray for them and their pastor. Lets be thankful for our freedom to meet together in church and take advantage of attending regularly.
"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)
Jim Smith
President, Pacific Church Network