One observer says church attendance is falling today because people have more money and more things to do with their money on Sunday, even the kids; some travel more; church attendance is more complicated for blended and single-parent families; some people today feel less guilty in not attending; others are choosing alternative ways to grow spiritually, including online options. Experts say some pastors make the mistake of stressing mere church attendance rather than people being engaged in activities. Sadly, some don’t value God’s perspective on issues that come from preaching—until they are in trouble. In past generations, people had fewer distractions and options; they were more eager to listen to the preached word. We find in Acts Chapter 20 an example of this when the Paul preached until midnight. His sermon was so long, a young man fell out of a third-floor window and died. Paul went down, prayed for him, and the young man came back to life. Paul just went back and finished his sermon past midnight. May God help us appreciate what Paul and others call “the foolishness of preaching,” because God uses the preached word to transform and empower those who listen and obey.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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