In my years in ministry I have heard many excuses from professed Christians for not attending church, not serving, not giving, not _____, etc... The most annoying excuse is that the church is full of hypocrites. What is lame about that excuse is that “Everyone is a Hypocrite!” I am a hypocrite. You are a hypocrite. No one lives consistently with whatever they profess to believe. Twelve Step Recovery programs encourage honesty with oneself and others. We need honesty with ourselves, God, and others.
The Bible clearly calls on Christians to be in relationship with one another in a local body of believers.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
“Let us” speaks of a community of fellowship of believers that are to encourage one another to love and good works.
“Let us” speaks against “Lone Ranger” Christianity which is the habit of some.
“Let us” speaks to how we can encourage one another. You cannot encourage someone that you do not know through a relationship. You cannot be encouraged unless someone knows and cares for you.
“Let us” live in relationship as we look forward to the Lord Jesus Returning in Glory.
A healthy church encourages those relationships. In reading the Bible the early church had relationship problems.
Philippians 4:2 (ESV)
I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.
The Apostle Paul - under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit - was encouraging these two women to work through their differences to serve the Lord.
We don’t need excuses, we need honest effort to serve the Lord together - within the messiness of the human condition - through a community of faith, a Bible-believing church.