Unfortunately many people today view church as optional. It is not high on their list of priorities. As a matter of fact, sports, hobbies, parties, and sheer laziness can keep you from attending church. If your pastor is worth is weight in salt he will be concerned when you go MIA (missing in action). But how should your pastor respond when people in our congregation temporarily fall off the radar? Should he send out search and rescue? In some cases he should. Usually your leaders will start off by reaching out via phone calls, texting, and emails. When that does not work, then they send a letter inside of a card that will hopefully help you to theologically understand your need for consistent church attendance. I have entitled the letter, “Church is not the same without you.” Understanding the role you play as an individual believer within the body of Christ will help, and I hope, motivate you to consistently get plugged in and assume your God given role as a covenant member of the church. After reading the letter below, if you have any questions or comments please write them on this thread or feel free to shoot me an email. Blessings, pastor Derek
Dear John Pewster,
We have noticed that you have not been participating in church lately and we miss you! As a matter of fact, church is just not the same without you. You see God created us, the church, to be in relationship with one another. When you became a Christian God did a specific work in you. He changed you (John 3:3). He gave you a new heart (Ezek. 36:26). He made His Holy Spirit to live within you (1 Cor. 3:16). And the Holy Spirit placed (baptized) you into the body of Christ, the church (1 Cor. 12:12-13).
In his letter to the Corinthians Paul explains that although we have an individual relationship with Christ, all believers are a part of something much bigger and greater. We are individual members of the body of Christ, the church. He uses the metaphor of the human body to show the diversity, unity, and the necessity of each individual part. He says, “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,” Paul’s point is that every member plays a vital role within the church. And if one person is missing, then the whole body suffers. For example, lets say that God has given you the ability to encourage other people. But if you are not present to encourage others, who will stand in the gap for you? There might not be anyone else present who can encourage others quite like you can!
Consider just a few of the commands below. These can only truly be lived out in the context of the church.
Gal. 6:2 – be accountable to one another
1 Thess. 5:11 – encourage one another.
2 Cor. 7:6 – comfort one another.
James 5:16 – pray for one another.
John 13:34-35 – love one another.
In Ecclesiastes Solomon wisely said, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  The simple truth is, we need you and you need us! Please prayerfully consider coming back. If you would like to talk I would love to sit down with you. Please call me at 555-555-4545.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Co 12:21–22). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 IBID (Ec 4:9–12).