Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. - James 4:8a (NKJV)
I write this post with an extremely heavy heart.
- Yesterday at church, I was singing on stage, looking out at the sparse crowd of people. It seemed like every Sunday, there were less and less attendees. I knew that Covid did a big number on our church, but I just couldn't fully believe that Covid was still the reason for the steady decline of people each Sunday. Even the attendees who had shown up yesterday, looked tired. It made my heart heavy. I could remember the days when our church was so crowded, people couldn't even find a seat! Some weeks, they would be worshipping loudly, cheering, and clapping with the music. They seemed so joyful. What happened?
- Fridays are the nights I lead a college and career small group. Because of the virus, we took some time off. But when we finally got back together, everyone seemed so gung-ho - excited to meet up again! In fact, we didn't lose any members at all due to the circumstances. But then, people just gradually stopped showing up. Now, only two attendees other than myself and my husband typically join on Friday nights. What happened?
- I used to love doing online devotions through the YouVersion Bible App. (If you have never done one through YouVersion, I recommend it. They have thousands of free Bible studies you can do by yourself or with a group of people.) I loved to invite my friends in YouVerson to participate in studies with me, and most of them seemed so excited to do so! But recently, I invited every single one of my friends to partake in a study with me, but very few seemed interested. What happened?
- Through my website app, I created a 20 day challenge to read the Bible every day. I truly hoped that a new challenge might make people really excited to dig into the Word! I put a lot of thought into the challenge as I planned out steps, notifications, motivational tips, and quotes to help people stay motivated to read the Bible! I was hoping that at least a few people would want to join. I shared it on social media, hoping to gain some interest in the challenge. However, at the end of the day, I was the only one who signed up to participate in the challenge. What happened?
Friends, I am so sad because of these examples I listed above. My heart is broken because of the joylessness, laziness, and complacency I have been seeing in Christians over the past several months. Christians are meant to have joy, even in hard times. Joy is a God-given gift to Christians. But where is the joy and why don't we have it? Why are more and more people falling away from church, Bible studies, and their own relationships with God all throughout 2020? Aren't these hard times the times when we are supposed to grow cl