Question:

Hello,

I have been a member of the church of Christ almost 20 years. I now have my own family and have been highly discouraged to continue attending the congregation in our hometown. Lately, I have been noticing so many changes in the church. Many local congregations, as well as ours, host what they call "Fourth Sunday Fellowship." This, of course, includes a meal and follows up with preaching, or kicking off of a gospel meeting sometimes.

Well, our congregation has begun to travel everywhere. Using congregational vans and buses to travel to these places several times a week sometimes.

Don't get me wrong, but I am for worshiping God and studying His word diligently. But the churches have gone too far. Some of the members become angry when many of the other members choose not to attend these gatherings. I don't mind hearing the word being preached, but I could certainly skip the meal and feed my family at home. This becomes discouraging to my family and in turn, we end up not attending this portion of the preaching.

Our congregation has become so accustomed to 'going somewhere' each week that the real reason for us assembling to worship God is no longer important to them. Kids now ask, "When are we having activities?" They look for food now that they come to the worship service. Activities and meals have replace the joy of worshiping God and hearing the preaching of the word at our congregation.

Bottom line is, my family will not participate in these activities. Maybe I am wrong. Am I leading my family wrong in this matter? Are we wrong in our beliefs? I have become so discouraged that we are all near stopping attending the worship there totally.

Thank you for your answer. God bless.


Answer:

Your congregation has gotten caught up into entertaining its members in a mistaken notion that having numbers attending means they are doing God's will. "Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him"" (John 6:26-27).

Most likely there is a sound congregation in your area which isn't caught up in the social gospel approach. The problem is that these types of congregations generally don't acknowledge the existence of more conservative groups. If you would let me know what town you are near, I'll see if I can find a congregation near you.