However we count, church attendance is taking a hit. COVID-19 still hampers public gatherings, virtual worship has lost its shine and people are simply not signing on. Yet, church remains viable and critically important. Here’s my two-minute pitch:

Make the world better: This is a hard sell when millions walk away for good reasons. All I can say is, “Don’t punish the frauds by hurting yourself.” Just come and see. Church is full of garden-variety sinners like me, but we’re on a really good journey that is all about forgiveness and redemption.

Discover community: People are created for community—with God and with one another. In church we experience both in the same moment.

There’s a natural rhythm to life: Connecting with The Creator anchors our rhythms in the source of everything. The sun rises, winter follows fall and spring leads into summer. Gathering for worship is a sense of coming home that simply rings true.

Perspective: We are not the epicenter of life. At the same time, worship puts us at the heart of the focus of God’s love, both as individuals and as a congregation. This is very good news.
Challenge: I don’t know about you, but I have a lot to learn. In church, I am challenged intellectually, and spiritually, and to be a better human being.

Opportunity: Church follows challenges with opportunities. We can make a difference, such as helping young people connect with purpose, working for equality and reconciliation, serving via hunger programs, reaching into underserved communities, working with children and strengthening families.

Possibility: Church is a place to celebrate what is beautiful and explore what is possible. Amazing music, messages you won’t hear anywhere else, small group learning experiences, enrichment—and that’s just the beginning.

These are simple facts about why church is worth our time and energy. This is just the beginning. Jesus is God’s invitation. There is no better way home than walking with fellow travelers who own the same questions, voice the same concerns and have the same open spirits.

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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at