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Is Church Optional?

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
December 24, 2018 12:00 pm

Is Church Optional?

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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December 24, 2018 12:00 pm

This week on the Focus On Faith edition of Family Policy Matters, NC Family’s Pastor Outreach Director Thomas Graham sits down with Joe Carter, an editor for The Gospel Coalition and of the NIV Lifehacks Bible. Carter discusses why many Christians do not attend church, the importance of attendance, and how pastors and parishioners can better welcome visitors, particularly Millennials, into their congregations.

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Given rent payment policy. Edition Thomas Graham, thank you for joining us for this policy talk customer your program of the North Carolina family right in the midst of the holiday season will certainly hope it all.

Each of us were taking time for all important for us. But even more hops to celebrate toward of the season.

I'm sure many of us knows an uptick in the activities of the church this time of uterine, not just an increase in activity but also the number of attendees of service. Today I'm excited to have Joe Carter here to help us explore why it is so important for us as practicing Christians to prioritize church attendance throughout the entire year.

Joe Carter is an editor for the Gospel coalition is the editor of the NIV life X Bible and also author of the forthcoming book, the life and faith filled guide for parents who recently wrote an article exploring it and do pew research survey on church attendance that is entitled why Christians don't go to church and why they must Joe Carter.

Welcome to family policy matters. It's great to have you on the show so much for me on on this program. We like to focus on the personal aspect of how faith in public like intersect. So would you give us a brief introduction on how you came to be a man of faith and what has motivated your work in this realm. What an attractive young boy and a group in a family of believers church every Sunday, while the child but somewhere along with my teen years up on the charts in my adult life was my early 20s and early 30s are denoted church that often and I will now is a very nominal Christian automated nominal Christian. Because, like a lot of Americans about all I need and that is Christ's church's bride was optional and it wasn't until I got back in church to begin understanding it. I'm not locking arms with others but is probably not following Christ at all. Joe that's just great and I couldn't agree more, is as a pastor for 30+ years myself. I come to really value and appreciate so much the body of Christ and recognize the importance of belonging to the body of Christ. But as we begin to explore this topic of church attendance tell us about pew's recent findings about how, where, when and why Americans attend religious services. Would you please pew research survey finds that the overwhelming reason why people attend church is closer to God.

But the reason they stay away from church are a popular book, outdated One third of all Americans don't go just considerably just completed. They can also be an opportunity Services. A lot of people who do believe including blood Christians also don't attend regularly and the main reason non-churchgoers give out for not attending worship service is connected to participate in the another way animals have evangelicals in this category stated this in the most important reason for them not going to church next most common reason about what garden vegetables.

That is why not go as good at a church or house worship. I like so it's mostly about preferences and what they think is best for them. Joe are the primary factors that are motivating religious worship decisions and behaviors among Americans today. Perhaps you could expand on that, but it always factors can be lumped and that what category was called expressive individualism and expressive individualism. The idea that each one of us has our own way of like their daddy as our only dirtbike not duty to express that are authentic individual self. However we choose. Nobody else can tell how to how to live a weakened mechanical the hot I know many Christians don't want to hear this but this the same motivation a lot of movement like transient tourism homosexual rights movement at the same reason given for not going to church are the person fused that the general identities been told by secular society.

You are yet to be who you are. You can limit people to find you and also look Christians who don't go to church thing I want some institution telling how they are expected to conform with the life only told her expected Smith to church elders command Hebrews 1317 that confidence in the other snitch authority is deeply offensive to most Americans don't like to insert attempting to think that God may appoint some fallible human being. Tell them how they can and cannot express their own identity. So let's talk about the atmosphere of the church community week.

We know how impactful it can be on the decision by newcomers to return to the church. What can we do as active members of our churches than Joe to create an attractive, more attractive atmosphere and should not even be a concern of ours. I think the first thing that we can do to make church more effective if the other people regarding their need to send John but by this.

All people know that you're my disciple to be blowing up and comer statement coming on Sunday morning look like a family reunion website excited to see each other what is his blessing must pass each other to get to the parking lots, window bunch of service spoke with the cement all newcomers can a patent how we treat them merely subsonic re-examined warmly and welcome them with open arms. But the people within the church before can't know that help people treat visitors with a realist is how we treat children that can be at the stake stick mind that can help treat them longer. If we don't love each other. It shows that we just all we care about is getting the newcomers in welcoming them to look like things are given the tide in second note for the Melville's death that would be a concern as well have an effect on how I newcomers this man a good deal of research and discussion. In recent years about the desired younger generations have to encounter a more robust and perhaps even more intellectually challenging faith in churches. Why do you think this is and how can churches give young people the experience of faith, that there really seeking a lot in return church to run out of options outside the church there just institution taken seriously or challenged intellectually, all it was a time the truth is that there watching reality TV and literature in the political realm obsolete, but it didn't affect our universe needing to class now on reality TV shows like you are getting Ivy League colleges for just not treated as intellectual being anymore. The law church is an ethic of a growing number of data remain committed to the intellectually rigorous state and the relative method way to truly attract young people. Young people want to be challenged.

Many of them are going to college to study the response, economic or some of the bigger still, they don't want to come to church and be dumb down after their sister, they can handle it. And even those who don't pursue higher education of reading books and watch watching TV series are very complex and in-depth courses, pain, tension, second handle complexity and when it comes to matters of faith, we don't we meet which they communicate clearly an important security but we don't need to dumb it down.

Don't need to preach to the food form their smart and intelligent needs be respected at the moment do that will attract and to our churches listening to the radio show and cast from the same family you can sign up to receive and to listen to Michelle online resources that will need a voice that explains anyone signing, namely, 19 Joe Carter with respect to the church that you attend in the Virginia there, which was what percentage of of your overall demographic would would be this this millennial generation.

For example, college-age well almost all of under 40 years old on 49 among the oldest people in the church and a lot of people coming straight out of college that move the DC. Take a job working government or in the tech industry and it is very intelligent people in the country they come with hard questions they don't want to just begin pet answers that you know that that child. This is best is to really work hard to get up to speed ourselves on how to help answer these questions indeed and Dave and I think you know when none of these young people come in they have probably more questions. We can even imagine. To be able to be in a position to address those questions those inquiries that they're making about faith, about about God's kingdom and so forth one another.

What a privilege to be able to be in that position to be a spokesperson on behalf of kingdom truths about your great absolute and talented people don't expect you have all the answers that it offered to do time like on that.

I don't know you had on the answer the question were now gimme, data research and get back to and they were really respected and appreciated that they can finance himself, and trust me to find where to go to find the right answers the problem so that Capuchin beef like they have had no all this knowledge in the head at the Naples notice which may be honest with the people and told her I'll find out that Ashley and will get back to you will will help you with whatever you want right now to answer the question and that's really I think with this generation needs NEP will respect them enough to say Gerard help you guide you on your faith is partnering a little journey. Excellent job, I think all across our listening audience.

Now their hobos are pastors are probably just really a great big sigh of relief.

You say that the data had to be the answer. Mayweather head filled with all his fabulous knowledge and be able to dispense it at any given moment time.

That's right, brother. So thank you for that you have written that while it's not necessary to attend church to be a Christian.

Those who don't attend probably aren't Christian. Now I gotta ask is that too harsh to think or is that a truth that we need to speak more more boldly about the need to say it only otherwise were misleading people into believing the Christians when the really not a Christian and you should be in a community that is readily together, renting his escort. No course exception to this rule that many believers of other countries that may not have first go to their shut and read the letter had no way to gather with others rest of us were those were able-bodied and level of living in America. We just don't have an excuse why we can't get together and worship Christ with with Christ pride in.

Well that's not that steady at quite clearly and I think that you're right we we do need to be able to speak about this more boldly because oftentimes people are searching for excuses just to be well lazy. For one thing, with respect to their Christian prayer Christian life and the church leadership has a responsibility to help get them out of any kind of a lazy laissez-faire approach to living the Christian life with you very soon if it's not 100 detectives sending whispers at the church now days sending you happy sports leagues on study to get you prior to taking the kids to sports and take it escort you can come to church.

You can find a way to begin writing the blame to service and worship God and our daughters 24 and that age, they always find something else I wanted to on you make. If you start them off when the younger and Bill may fall away from adult, but over time the church longer. Just like I did the MDB plant the seed ineligible later in life, Joe.

What is the biblical mandate regarding church attendance and membership and why is it so important to be part of that community will nominal Christians taped off the hook since is no single verse that directly states thou shall attend church is clear that the expectation in every letter of the New Testament assumes Christians are members of the upper example of damage in the community was dismissed. Once pastors in the James told that the poor sick we should go there pastors and imperialist action that we don't have tasks accurately follow any of the numerous other similar commands. If we are not part of a church Scriptures, makes it clear that the only way we can be a PhD. This is become more like him is to regularly attend church that the only way we can follow commands he has blinking local church.

So just about time this week. Joe and I like to take a few more minutes but we are limited here. But before we go word you recommend listeners who are not currently regular church attendees were you recommend that they begin their search to find a community of believers to join and become part of what the gospel as we have a church record would define search for churches in the area and on the website most every denomination such and so that's convention Christian church in America. Find a way to search for churches in your area by some denominations. Another great way to simply ask people on social media and don't ask whether it has good clinical program asking the preaching is gospel centered, don't ask if they have great worship music. Ask the people of the church. Love one another. Make clear to people that what you're seeking is not store social group that will allow you to express your individual preferences you want to find a community, we can grow to be more like Jesus. Yes yes well said. Listen, thank you so much for being with us on family policy matters today and for your witness and encouragement to each of us to join and engage in the community that is the body of Christ. So, if people wanted to get to know more about what you're offering there. The gospel coalition, where should they go to find you online so the gospel is, for faith, hope, great. Just go to the gospel coalition, as I found Joe and Jean fleshes listening, showing family to listen to the show online resources that will help you need a voice of persuasion in your community to our last time and

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