Absent Because of Visiting
Sundays and Midweek meeting times are used by some as the time to visit neighboring congregations. While they are faithfully attending services (a good thing), they are absent from their home congregation (a bad thing). Visiting is not a terrible thing if we understand the right times and reasons to do it. (Rom. 14:16).
Wrong Time to Visit:
Anytime we should be with your brethren and we can make it is the wrong time to visit. That means all scheduled meeting times. Brethren depend on us being with them. They rely on your attendance and participation. What does it say when we are not out of town, sick, working, hospitalized, but just chose to be someplace else? Exactly. It is very discouraging. (Heb. 3:12-14).
Wrong Reason to Visit
Visiting to find a mate, or hear a “famous preacher,” or because of running late are not the right reasons to visit. Worship and Bible class times should not be used to find someone or hear someone. There are many opportunities to visit when other congregations are having something and our congregation is not. That is the time to go. We all run late at times but it is better to be late at our congregation than someplace else on time. (Heb. 10:25-26).
Right Time to Visit:
There are times when it is right to visit and miss our normal service times. (1.)When we are searching for a new congregation to place membership. (2.)When we are out of town. (3.)When we are working with another congregation. (4.)When we do not have a way to our own congregation. But let your congregation know of your whereabouts since we are our brother’s keeper. (Gen. 4:9; 1 John 3:11-12).
God did not add us to his church to visit and checkout other services. He added us to his church to work and worship. We do this by building up the Lord’s body in the community where we have membership (1 Thess. 5:11-26). We cannot do this with a visitor’s mentality. Needless absence hurts the work and worship of the church. ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Heb. 6:10; cf. Matt. 25:35-40).).