A newspaper ad displayed a photograph of six men carrying a coffin through the doors of a church. The caption read: “Will it take six strong men to bring you back?”

Will it take six strong men to bring you back?

The ad made me feel uncomfortable but the question was a good one. A study published in 2005 by C. Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler—shows the number of people worshipping each week is 17.7 percent. “Over the past 30 to 40 years, denominations have reported a decline,” Marler says. “Most mainline denominations report a net loss over the past 30 years.”

Do people still believe in God?

A growing number of people would answer, “No.” However, the majority of Americans would still say, “Yes.” But… Most of those same Americans no longer attend church. Why? There are many reasons:

• Busy – Children, Job, Chores: I don’t have time.
• Boring – I would rather watch paint dry.
• Hypocrites – You may look holy on Sunday but I’ve seen you on Monday.
• Relevance – You don’t even try to understand me or my problems.
• Issues – Divorce, homosexuality, abortion – No love, only judgment.
• Media – I learn more from TV, a website or Facebook.
• Money – You want me to sit quietly in the pew and write a check.
• Status – I don’t belong. I’m not worthy. I’m single. I’m poor.

For years, I too believed in God but come Sunday morning? “I work six days a week in a suit and tie. I want to sleep in, relax and read the newspaper. Why dress up on my only day off?” Call it: busy, boring, hypocrites or relevance. I felt no pressing need to attend church.

Obviously, my attitude changed. In the midst of my change I received valuable lessons: Attending Church on Sunday morning, deepened my connection with God which guided me through the other six days of the week. I discovered a purpose and a reason for living that radically impacted my life.

Will it take six strong men to bring you back?

Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker and author, described the local church as the body of Christ showing a piece of Heaven today, not just when we die. What is that piece of heaven? What are the benefits of attending church? According to Zig:

• Longer life: Insurance studies show regular church attendance adds 5.7 years to your life.
• Wealth: The Bible provides answers about money but also provides a new perspective.
• Peace: There is peace of mind knowing God will always be there, no matter what.
• Purpose: It’s exciting to know God has a special purpose for your life and mine.
• Courage: God will give you courage and strength to make ethical and moral stands.
• Love: Learning to love others the way God loves you is a source of happiness and comfort.
• Forgiveness: Learning to forgive yourself and others can literally heal your body and your soul.

What a picnic basket full of luscious promises! You live longer and manage your financial resources more efficiently. You enjoy peace of mind. You receive supernatural courage to take a stand. You experience the breathtaking love of God and obtain the healing medicine of forgiveness.

Will it take six strong men to bring you back?

The church is still the best way to strengthen your relationship with God and with others, find your life’s purpose and receive those special benefits.

When my attitude changed. I found church to be the place to strengthen my walk with God during the other six days of the week. I couldn’t wait for Sunday.

Yes, at times, I was busy, the music was awful, the preacher was boring and people are still hypocrites. But — I also discovered an indescribable love and peace. I found a source for encouragement and a place of acceptance. The church isn’t perfect and it was never meant to be perfect because it is full of human beings seeking help.

A church was never meant to be a museum where you walk in and observe old artifacts: “Look but don’t touch.” The church is meant to be a hospital where anyone can receive help for what ails them.

The Bible says it best: Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25)

Let’s face it. You need the church and the church definitely needs you.

If you’ve not been to church in a while — come back. We’ve missed you. If you are already active with a church, share this story with a friend and invite him/her to join you. It sure beats the alternative.

Will it take six strong men to bring you back?


Martha davies · March 5, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Larry this is so true!! I am very proud you found your purpose for your life. It is the only way we can have joy in the midst of our trials!!

Kathleen A. Malloy · April 5, 2016 at 10:22 pm

The human condition is always a fascinating subject to explore. Peeling away the facade of character and injecting the truth of God is sobering at best and spiritually up lifting. Thank you for this article: “Will it Take Six Strong Men To Bring You Back? Good prayer group devotional. Enjoyed your piece: “I Hate Meeting,” last week. Thank you…

    larrydavies · April 8, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Thank you. Peeling away the facade of character and injecting the truth of God is an excellent description. Thank you.

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