Scene: The worship leader steps up to the microphone on Sunday morning to greet the congregants. “Good morning, everyone! It’s great to see all…12…of your smiling faces today. Some folks are evidently running late, but hey, even Jesus started with only 12 disciples!” A mild chuckle escapes a few lips, while the worship team stands awkwardly. “Let’s all praise the Lord today! Sing with me…”
I posed a question on the Women In Worship Network, asking for others to share what their church does to open the service. After a few responses, someone mentioned that only 1/3 of their church shows up on time. Then a long list of others chimed in that they had the same problem in their church. Then I confessed: I was looking for more ideas to solve the same problem in my church.
It seems there are many churches that have tried various means of beginning the service in an attempt to encourage people to be punctual. When most of the congregants are regularly arriving late in many churches we have a real issue that needs to be addressed.
What is the real problem?
- Wrong mindset. We don’t value the time of worship. Why not?
- Bad product. If there is a good product, the people will come.
- Laziness. We are not talking about someone who shows up late occasionally because he had a flat tire on the way to church, but someone who is tardy week in and week out.
- Leaders fail to teach the importance of respecting God, others, and even the visitors.
- Christian is lukewarm?
Our Actions Send a Message
When we walk in late to the service it sends a message:
- To God. “This time is not very important.”
- To Pastor. “I don’t have to obey your authority.”
- To Congregants. “I don’t care if I’m an interruption.”
- To Visitors. “This church is not worth me showing up on time.”
Maybe we need an ouch.
The leadership of my church has been occasionally addressing this issue from the pulpit and we have seen an increase in punctuality during those times. I know this is a strong post, but we need to realize that this kind of problem can be a major hinderance to going forward in God. There is power in unity.
Let’s talk about this. What do you think the problem is? Does this problem happen in your church, too?
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