Bible Class? Two Services? Is it Biblical?
Looking up at the attendance board, you will notice a pretty large number under the section of “Attendance Sun. AM.” However, the “Bible Class Attendance” and the “Attendance Sun. PM” seem to be lacking in the numbers category. Churches all across the nation are suffering from this same problem. Why do churches see so many people on Sunday mornings, but yet struggle to fill the pews on Sunday nights? Why does the number double in an hour from Bible class to Worship?
Sadly, many people don’t view Bible class, Sunday evening, and Wednesday Bible class as necessary. I’ve heard people say, “well, they aren’t in the Bible, so I’m not required to be here.” “Sunday morning is the only required service and all the other ones are just ‘extra’ or ‘optional.’” It is Biblical to have these “extra” services? Do I have to be here?
First, using the word “extra” is a little deceptive. That is assuming that the Sunday morning service is the more important one and then the rest is just “extra” and less important. Every time we gather together to worship God is special and important. It doesn’t matter what time it says on the clock. What if we did away with a Sunday morning worship service and only had a Sunday night? Would the Sunday night now just be an “extra” worship service? The Bible never gives us a time to meet on Sundays. Instead we follow the example of meeting on the first day of the week (Sunday) to break bread (Acts 20:7), offer a collection (1 Cor. 16:1).
Second, our spiritual leaders (elders) see it necessary to have a Bible class on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. They all see it necessary to have a Sunday evening worship service. We are told to submit to our leaders authority because they are keeping watch over our souls (Heb. 13:17). Those “extra” services are held for a reason. The more we gather together with one another, the more we grow closer to each other in unity (1 Cor. 1:10). More importantly, the more we gather together, the more we grow closer to God. People tell me all the time they want to know more about their Bible, but yet I never see them at Bible class. People tell me they want a better relationship with God, but yet I never see them on Sunday or Wednesday nights. We meet multiple times during the week so we can grow spiritually. Our elders have set aside these times so that we can strengthen and edify one another.
Third, we should be excited to worship God. David wrote, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord’” (Psalm 122:1). Instead of looking at services as mandatory or optional, let’s look at worshiping the Lord as a privilege. We should be excited to come meet with the saints. We should be excited to sing songs of praise and to pray together with our brothers and sisters. We should be excited to open up our Bibles and learn about God. Attending the services is an honor and a privilege.
Fourth, when you’re not here, we are hurting. Your attendance is vital to the makeup and growth of this congregation. Paul tells us that although we are many members, we are one body (1 Cor. 12:12). What would happen if you chopped your hand off? You would become disabled and you would not be able to function properly. Well, when you decide not to attend a Bible class or worship service, you are chopping our hand off. How can we function properly when our entire body is not intact?
We cannot make excuses for not attending Bible class and worship services. We don’t have optional services, instead we have the privilege to get together and worship God. “I live too far away,” “I have to work,” “I’m to tired,” “it’s too early/late for me,” “I don’t have a ride,” and all the other excuses that people give are not good enough. What if Christ was too tired to die on the cross? What if Jesus said, “it’s too far for me to walk with my cross on my back,” so He just decided not to go to Calvary? What if Jesus thought saving your soul was optional? What if God thought your soul was just “extra” so you aren’t necessary? God would never treat us that way, but yet, why do we feel like we can treat Him the way we do?
Is it Biblical to have Bible class and other worship times other than Sunday morning? Absolutely! It’s Biblical because we are a family that loves God and we should take every opportunity to worship and thank Him for what He’s done fore us!