I have decided to write a blog series on the importance of attending church. To begin with, I would like to share some quotes on a more lighter note regarding church attendance. I hope these will be an encouragement to you. Some will convict you and some will bring tears and others will make you smile. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
664 U. S. Church Attendance Statistics
A poll interviewed 13,398 persons over age 17 in more than 300 localities during nine selected weeks. Forty-two percent said they had attended church or synagogue during the preceding seven days, an increase of 2 percent over the past five years.
The study shows that 55 percent of Roman Catholics are in church in a typical week, 40 percent of Protestants. Women still make up a majority of those in the pews: 46 percent of the nation’s women attend, 37 percent of the men.
Least likely attenders are people living in the West and people under age 30; those in the South and Middle West have the best attendance record.
665 Church Good For Your Health
A Johns Hopkins University medical researcher has just discovered what the Presbyterian Ministers’ Life Insurance Fund has known for more than two centuries: attending church is good for your health.
The risk of fatal heart diseases is almost twice as high for the non-church-goer than for men who attend once a week or more, according to a study made by Dr. George W. Comstock of the university’s Department of Epidemiology. The doctor also observed that the “clean life” associated with regular churchgoing appears to be statistically related to a lower incidence of other major diseases, adding that going to church is a very favorable input.
666 Nice Guys Finish Last
Everyone knows about the old codger who lives to be 100 and cavalierly attributes his longevity to booze, black cigars, beautiful women—and never going to church.
According to Dr. George W. Comstock of Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, that kind of impious longevity may be the exception, not the rule. In studies of the relation of socioeconomic factors to disease in the population of Washington County, Md., Comstock and his colleagues made an incidental but fascinating discovery. Regular churchgoing, and the clean living that often goes with it, appear to help people avoid a whole bagful of dire ailments and disasters. Among them: heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, tuberculosis, cancer of the cervix, chronic bronchitis, fatal one-car accidents and suicides.
The most significant finding was that people who go to church regularly have less arteriosclerotic heart disease. The annual death rate from such disease was about 500 for every 100,000 persons among weekly churchgoers, nearly 900 per 100,000 among “less than weekly” attendees.
As for bronchitis, Comstock is at a loss to explain the relationship. (Maybe all that hymn singing helps clear the tubes. ) In any case, he has a name—or at least a nickname—for the whole phenomenon, which he humorously calls the “Leo Durocher” syndrome. “Nice guys,” concludes the good doctor, “do seem to finish last.”
667 Law Against “Wasting Time”
Law No. 153/190, Article 1-D, forbids Rumanian citizens from “coming together to play cards, drink alcohol, or waste time.”
By the widest stretch of the imagination, one finds it difficult to conceive of such a law having any effect upon Christian believers. And yet, it does! Under it, numbers are being arrested, fined, and even imprisoned. The charge: “wasting time.” For Rumanians to assemble for worship or prayer or Christian fellowship is, by atheistic Communist standards, “a waste of time.”
It is not hard to understand why such a law must be resorted to in Rumania, because there, as in other Communist-dominated countries, the national constitution guarantees “religious freedom.”
668 Our Courageous President
On Sunday morning, September 27, 1959, President Eisenhower invited Khrushchev to accompany him to a worship service at Gettysburg Presbyterian Church. The Red leader declined and Eisenhower went without him.
669 Roosevelt’s Fixed Habit
It was a fixed habit of Theodore Roosevelt to attend church on Sunday, and continued it all his years in Washington even as president of USA.
The pastor of his church always received a letter or phone message from the president when he expected to be out of town, explaining his absence.
670 Attending Church 88 Years
“Aunt Effie” Linquist has attended the First Baptist Church in Keokuk, Iowa, regularly for the last 88 years. Since 1888, she hasn’t missed a Christmas or Easter service. During that time 15 different pastors have served her church. She has listened to over 8,000 sermons, attended more than 4,000 prayer meetings, and said over 29,000 bedtime prayers.
Mrs. Linquist taught Sunday school for over 50 years, and several of her former Sunday school students are now in the ministry.
—Have a Good Day
671 My Church
A room of quiet,
a temple of peace;
A home of faith—
where doubtings cease
A house of comfort,
where hope is given;
A source of strength
to help us to heaven;
A place of worship,
a place to pray—
I found all this
in my Church today.
—Owen W. Glassburn
672 The Perfect Church
I think that I shall never see
A Church that’s all it ought to be:
A Church whose members never stray
Beyond the Strait and Narrow Way:
A Church that has no empty pews,
Whose Pastor never has the blues,
A Church whose Deacons always deak,
And none is proud, and all are meek:
Where gossips never peddle lies,
Or make complaints or criticize;
Where all are always sweet and kind,
And all to other’s faults are blind.
Such perfect Churches there may be,
But none of them are known to me.
But still, we’ll work, and pray and plan,
To make our own the best we can.
UNFAITHFUL CHURCH ATTENDANCE
673 Average Age Of Church Members
The average age of people in the United States is 25. But the average age of church members is 55—thirty years older than the national average.
674 Swedisb Church Attendance
Sunday church attendance in Sweden averages little more than three percent of the entire population, according to a report from the state Lutheran church to which 95 percent of Swedes belong.
675 Baptized People And Church Attendance
A survey in England reveals that although 26 million persons are baptized Anglicans, only 2,887, 671 are registered on church membership rolls.
In Latin America, long considered a Christian stronghold, 88 percent of the population are baptized Roman Catholics, yet Catholic authorities report that the “vast majority” seldom see the inside of a church.
676 Why I Don’t Go To Movies
Some years ago a news reporter invited people to send in their response to the statement, “Why I don’t go to church.” After he had received a number of replies, he decided to show the weakness of their alibis by inserting the word “movies” wherever “church” appeared in their letters.
Here is a sampling of his column: One said, “I am out of the habit of going to the movies, that’s why I no longer attend.” Another wrote, “I know a man who has gone to the movies for years, and he is no better than I am.” Still another remarked, “There are as many good people outside the movies as inside.” Some commented, “I stay away from the movies because I went when I was a child.” A number of other excuses were given which proved equally absurd when “movies” was substituted for the word “church.”
677 Possible To Be Christian Without Church?
Question: Can I be a Christian without joining the church?
Answer: Yes, it is possible. It is something like being:
A student who will not go to school.
A soldier who will not join an army.
A citizen who does not pay taxes or vote.
A salesman with no customers.
An explorer with no base camp.
A seaman on a ship without a crew.
A businessman on a deserted island.
An author without readers.
A tuba player without an orchestra.
A parent without a family.
A football player without a team.
A politician who is a hermit.
A scientist who does not share his findings.
A bee without a hive.
—Wesleyan Christian Advocate
678 The Absentee’s Alphabet
A is the Auntie who will come to tea; B is the Bed that won’t release me. C is the Car—we do need fresh air; D is the Dinner just Mom can prepare. E for Extremes—too high or too low; F for my Feelings—when they’re right, I go. G is the Garden much nearer God’s heart; H is my Husband, who won’t play his part.
I for Intruders who sit in my pew; J is for Jokes which tires me so much; L the old Language, it’s so out of touch; M is for Money, they always want more; N for New tunes I’ve not heard before. O is for Overtime, double on Sunday; P the Preparing I must do for Monday, Q the Queer noises that come from the choir; R is the Reverence they never inspire.
S is for Sermons, as dull as can be; T for the Television we really must see. U for Unfriendly, no welcome I find. V for the Voice of that woman behind. W is the Weather, too cold or too hot. X for Excuses, I’ve got such a lot. Y for the Yells from the kids left behind. Z is for Zeal, which is what I can’t find!
679 Morbus Sabbaticus
“Morbus Sabbaticus,” better known as “Sunday sickness,” is a disease peculiar to some church members. The symptoms vary, but these are generally observed:
1. It never lasts more than twenty-four hours.
2. It never interferes with the appetite.
3. It never affects the eyes. The Sunday newspapers can be read with no pain. Television seems to help the eyes.
4. No physician is ever called.
5. After a few “attacks,” at weekly intervals, it may become chronic … even terminal.
No symptoms are usually felt on Saturday. The patient sleeps well and wakes feeling well. He eats a hearty Sunday Breakfast, then the attack comes until services are over for the morning. The patient feels better and eats a solid dinner. After dinner, he takes a nap, then watches one or two pro-football games on TV. He may take a walk before supper, and stop and chat with neighbors. If there are church services scheduled for Sunday evening, he will have another short attack. Invariably, he wakes up Monday morning and rushes off to work feeling refreshed. The symptoms may not recur until the following Sunday, unless another service is scheduled at the church during the week.
680 “You See, God … ”
“You see, God, it’s like this: We could attend church more faithfully if your day came at some other time. You have chosen a day that comes at the end of a hard week, and we’re all tired out. Not only that, but it’s the day following Saturday night, and Saturday night is one time when we feel that we should go out and enjoy ourselves. Often it is after midnight when we reach home, and it is almost impossible to get up on Sunday morning. And you must realize that you have picked the very day on which the morning paper takes the longest to read—the day when the biggest meal of the week must be prepared. We’d like to go to church, and know that we should; but you have just chosen the wrong day.”
—Twentieth Century Christian
681 From The Floor: “Hurrah”
Our Homiletics professor had been impressing upon us the value of capturing our audience with the first sentence in a sermon. I had prepared a sort of folksy, intimate kind of talk for the following Sunday, and to start it off in proper fashion, I leaned impressively out over the pulpit for a few seconds, and then said: “My dear friends, I am not going to preach a sermon this morning … ” And before I got the next phrase started, a small boy in the front seat threw up his hands and shouted: “Hurrah.”
—Rev. Emerson J. Sanderson in Christianity Today
682 Divers Diseases
The old preacher stood up to preach. He read his text in Matthew 4:24, “ … they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases.”
The preacher said: “Now, the doctors can scrutinize you, analyze you, and sometimes cure your ills, but when you have divers diseases, then only the Lord can cure. And brethren, there is a regular epidemic of divers diseases among us.
“Some dive for the door after Sunday School is over. Some dive for the TV set after church. Some dive into a list of excuses about not working for the Lord. Others dive for the car and take a trip over the weekend. Some dive for their nickels and dimes to put in the offering, instead of paying their tithe. Some dive for the door as soon as the minister gives the appeal to pray at the altar at the service. Yes, it takes the Lord and the love for the church to cure Divers Diseases.”
683 “Praise Him … Here We Go!”
A little five-year-old girl had been attending the church kindergarten. Each day before the children were dismissed, the teacher had them sing the Doxology, which the little five-year-old loved to sing, but in her own words. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures, here we go!”
684 Epigram On Church Attendance
• “Everybody has a reason for staying home from church—even those who are here.”
• Some people think a 30-minute sermon is too long, so they substitute a 300-column Sunday paper.
• The reason why people miss church when it rains is the reason why we have church.
• Wanted: Men, women and children to sit in slightly used pews Sunday morning—Saratoga Congregational Church.
—In “Wanted” section of St. Charles, Minnesota, Press
• If absence makes the heart grow fonder, some people ought to love their church greatly.
• A certain congregation had dwindled in size so much that when the minister said “Dearly Beloved,” the maiden lady in the front row thought he was proposing.
• A man proudly said: “I went to church only 2 times in my life—the first time they sprinkled water on me, the second time they sprinkled rice.”
>A hearer added: “And the third time, they sprinkle dirt.”
• The church is not a club of saints, it is a hospital for sinners.
• “Most people think of the church as a drama, with the minister as the chief actor, God as the prompter, and the laity as the critic. What is actually the case is that the congregation is the chief actor, the minister is the prompter, and God is the critic.”
Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.