Q: My sister used to be very active in her church, but now she’s dropped out and says she wants to spend her weekends doing other things. I admit, she doesn’t seem to miss church, but what can I do to encourage her to reconnect? — L.G.
A: People drop out of church for all sorts of reasons (and over the years I suppose I’ve heard them all). And some are understandable — if a particular church isn’t preaching the Gospel, for example, or has no program for their children. Instead of completely dropping out, however, I always urge them to ask God to guide them to another church.
But often people drop out of church simply because, like your sister, they want to do something else. Perhaps they’ve found church boring, or people haven’t seemed friendly, or it’s become a meaningless routine. But these aren’t true of every church, and often they’re only an excuse to do something else. It’s not a new problem; believers in New Testament times were urged to strengthen each other spiritually, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing” (Hebrews 10:25).
The real issue is this: What place does Jesus Christ have in our lives? Is he only one of many interests we have, or is he the center and foundation of all we do? A casual approach to Christ always leads to a casual approach to church. But once you realize who Jesus is and what he has done for you through his death and resurrection, you’ll never treat him casually again.
Pray for your sister, that she will commit her life fully to Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord. Then pray that God will give her an inner hunger to grow closer to himself, and to his people.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.