The Effect of Absence – Guest Post

The following is a great post from my friend Lyndsey Thomason regarding regular connection with the local church. Lyndsey is a wife, mother of two, travel agent, and the Systems Director for GraceLife Church. Oh yeah, she also lands planes for a living as an Air Traffic Controller. Enjoy! – Carlo

I consider myself to be a pretty busy person, but ensuring that I am at church every single Sunday has always been a priority of mine. Occasionally we have been on vacation or I have been sick, but for the most part, I am there. This has not been the case over the past 6 weeks or so. I have missed almost every single Sunday for one reason or another. This past Sunday was my first week back after my “absence”. After having been gone for a while and then coming back, I’ve learned a few things and would like to share them with you.

Being at Church keeps you in touch with the body of Christ. So many things had been happening amongst my church family and I had no idea. When I finally had the chance to reconnect with them, I felt like I had been left out of so many things, when in reality, I had let myself out of them by not being there for them on a regular basis.

See 1 Corinthians 12:27

Being at Church keeps you in touch with God. Although I do my best to connect with God on a regular basis, there is something about Sunday Morning Worship Service that is different. This time is uninterrupted. It is not filled with work or chores, it is full of Gospel and worship and most importantly, it is filed with the Holy Spirit who never seems to miss this weekly opportunity to challenge me and to speak into me exactly what I need to hear.

I am missed. When you are part of a Family, it doesn’t take long for someone to start checking on you when they have not seen you in a while. While this might be in the form of jokes or queries from my friends at GraceLife, it is actually very significant. I have a family that cares about me. They care when I am not at church. It makes a difference to them when they get to see me on Sundays. I count. While we have never been a church who nit-picks over how many come on Sundays mornings, we have always been a church who cares about people. During my absence I never got a phone call telling me the weekly attendance numbers, but I did receive several from people who were checking on me and who honestly cared that I didn’t show up that week.

See Romans 12:5

Connecting with the Body = Sacrifice = Obedience. I know as well as anyone that sometimes you just don’t want to get up on your day off, get the kids all cleaned up and dressed, get everyone in the car and head across town to church. But this is why I do it anyways. God told me to. Period. When we sacrifice, we are showing obedience to God, which is the most pure form of worship.

See Hebrews 10:24-25 and Romans 12:1-2

We all have a role to play. The church, and certainly my church, is made up of a diverse group of people. Each of them has strengths and weaknesses. They each have a gift from God and each of them has the ability to use those gift to spread the good news. When I don’t show up, my strengths don’t show up either. When I am there, I am strengthening the body with the gifts and skills that I have that are unique to me.

See 1 Corinthians 12:14-22

All of this being said, here is what I think of the most:

I think of all of the friends I have made at my church over the years. Some came to church a lot, some only came a little. But each of them is important to me. Some have moved on with military orders and some have moved away. But the most frequent loss is that of people just not coming on Sundays anymore. I want all of them to know that I care, we care. We care that they aren’t there. It matters to us. It matters to God. We are not as strong without you as we could be with you. Come and see me at church…I miss you.

This post originally appeared here.

 

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