Perhaps the first thing you thought when you read the above question was to think, “Why, the church is worth everything to me!” Is that really true? Most of you who are reading this are members of the church of Christ and able to enjoy the many privileges and blessings that go along with being a member of God’s family. So, we all need to consider the question very carefully, “WHAT IS THE CHURCH WORTH TO ME AS A MEMBER?”
IS THE CHURCH WORTH YOUR LOYALTY? I am sure we all agree the church cost God and Christ more than most are willing to pay. It cost God His Son, Jesus Christ, His blood. It cost the apostles their lives to establish and spread the church throughout the world. The early disciples were so loyal to the cause that the church was spread throughout the world in about 40 years Col.1:23. This was loyalty. It meant DEDICAION TO A CAUSE, willing to die to proclaim it. It meant UNWAVERING ZEAL to spread it, even in working day and night at this task while others turned back. It meant COURAGE and BOLDNESS to stand before rulers and mobs telling it “like it was,” This was loyalty This is what the church was worth to the early disciples. Yet today many are not willing to do the things for the church they claim to love so much. When brethren quit defending the church and no longer demand a “thus says the Lord” and do not speak “as the oracles of God” then I question their loyalty. Some are more zealous and dedicated to the defense of some human innovation or institution than to the Lord’s church. This is not loyalty to the Lord. What about you? Are you resolved to give the Lord your full allegiance?
ISTHE CHURCH WORTH YOUR PRESENCE? The Lord has promised, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst” Matt. 18:20. Yes, I know the primary application of this scripture is dealing with church discipline, but I also believe it has a secondary application which would include brethren assembling to worship Him. In other scriptures we are exhorted to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together” Heb.10:25. While the primary consideration of this verse seems to be the assembly on the first day of the week, it does say “assembling” which would include other times also. Yet it would seem from the attendance or rather the lack of attendance to the Bible classes and Sunday and Wednesday night serves, that many feel the church is not worth spending too much time with brethren. Some are like butterflies flitting from place to place. How can the classes operate efficiently when the teachers can not be sure who will be there? How can the preacher preach his best when many of the seats are empty from neglect? We see to it that our children are clothed, fed and educated in secular things, but many times fall short with showing the same concern for spiritual things. Every time you do not come on Sunday or Wednesday night because of simple carelessness or neglect you demonstrate the fact that these services are not worth much to you. Isn’t the Lord worth more of your time than two or three hours weekly? How much time do you give to the Lord?
IS THE CHURCH WORTH YOUR MONEY? We live in a land of prosperity with our bodies covered, bellies fed, and a roof and bed to shelter and rest us. Yet the greater portion of the contribution comes from a handful of people. The only way the church can scripturally raise money is through the members laying by in store on the first day of the week 1.Cor.16:1-2. Do you really believe you are abounding in the work if you neglect to give properly? Look at the contribution and ask yourself, “How much of this did I give?” “Could I do more?” Many opportunities to preach the gospel are lost because of a lack of funds. Are you giving your fair share?
IS THE CHURCH WORTH YOUR RESPONSIBILITY? The church cannot function properly unless each member is willing to do his/her share. One problem today is the failure of many to exercise their responsibility to the kingdom. They have been at ease too long. Many have forgotten that someone took the time to teach them the truth. It is time to awake and get busy. Is the church worth working for?
The integrity of a good name, the love of a wonderful family, or even the privilege of living in a free country mean much more to all of us. Many are willing to defend these material freedoms since they are considered precious and desirous. Yet when it comes to spiritual things it doesn’t seem to mean as much to some as it should. Should this be so, brethren? The church is worth all these things! Our loyalty, presence, money and responsibility. Let each of us resolve to get busy and DO ALL WE CAN – WHEN WE CAN. You might be surprised at the result. <Tommy Thornhill>