{Staying Alert} 2018 Church Accountability Calendar

While we all know that church attendance is not a direct barometer or reflection of one's spiritual maturity, to actually gain said spiritual maturity and a deeper relationship with Christ, church attendance is pivotal.  Not just to learn more about Christ, but to be a beating vessel of the body of the church.  However controversial this statement may sound, it is impossible {for the majority} to consistently grow and change in Christ without regular church attendance.  One may remain a Christian, have a prayerful life, and exercise faith without regularly attending church, but one must ask themselves how genuine their walk is without the desire to actually enter a church and become one of a church body.

I know this because I have experienced many seasons of both regular attendance and sporadic and the times when life is sporadic, so is my full reliance on the Lord.

When we are truly living for Christ and striving to live in obedience to Him with a heart to serve, grow, and be near to God, we naturally will desire to be in the pew, worshipping within the church body, putting Him a priority over ourselves on Sunday mornings (or even activities on Saturday nights).  

Presence in the pew, however, does not equate actually knowing the Lord and desiring that relationship with Him.  There is a great distinction between heart knowledge and head knowledge that defines one's own personal walk.  

Not everyone will agree with this stance and that's okay.  The beauty of our relationship with the Lord is that each relationship is individual.  Despite your perspective on church attendance, I encourage you to keep reading, print out the chart, and give it a try to see how holding yourself and family accountable can change you from the inside out. 

Why Our Family Needed An Accountability Calendar 

One of our hardest years to date was 2015.  On the heels of a lot of health problems, my husband made his first career change in nearly eight years and all of the promises that enticed him away proved be total lies, just mere months into the job.  The craziest part is that this was a well-known corporation that had decided to simply pay my husband less tha a 1/3 of what was promised.  

These lies proved to completely implode our finances destroying our savings and hiking up our credit card debt, nearly leaving us in financial ruins.  Admittedly, my husband's faith was astounding while I was terrified, lacking trust, and at one point, spent hours upon hours, upon days upon days crying.  

Not crying out to the Lord, crying to myself, trying to find ways to fix this disaster. 

During this time of change, the defeat began to build and our church attendance dropped dramatically.  There was always some sort of excuse for why not to attend.  I wasn't just mentally depressed.  I was spiritually depressed too.  The thing is, I legitimately bought these excuses and justified them to myself.  When I had to face the excuses, I denied them.  That was the scariest thing of all:  I was lying to myself.  And believing it. 

While I was still prayerful, knew the Lord, and turned to scripture, my zeal was completely gone.  I had a lot of head knowledge, but my heart connection was rapidly declining.  My faith was more of a show than it was a solid-belief.  I was doubting His plan because my world seemed to be collapsing. 

As the year came to a close, I came into the truth and realized how much I was lying to myself about my level of faith.  I was not yearning for the Lord, striving to live in obedience to Him, or even desiring to serve anyone.  While I fully believe we are granted so much grace during these seasons and that was clearly a season we needed to be served, letting these seasons turn into permanence is a dangerous line to be on and far too may become complacent in attending church the bare minimum to escape their conscious. 

Don't be fooled y'all.  Satan works in powerful ways, too.  For a period of time, my stomach seemed to always hurt on Sundays, but when I would reflect on the rest of the week, my stomach never once stopped me from doing my regular activities.  This was easily justified until I allowed myself to realize the truth of the matter:  I was allowing and welcoming any and every excuse I could find to justify the dwindling desire to attend church. 

It is a lie of the enemy for anyone to believe that church attendance is not necessary for sanctification.  

To kick off 2016, I made a Church Accountability Chart to hold our family accountable for our attendance.  It was a simple, dated chart in which I hung to our refrigerator with a magnet.  My only responsibility was to write the sermon title and one sentence or verse that I wanted to remember for the service.  If we did not go, I had to write in the other section, exactly why we didn't go. 

How a Church Accountability Chart Worked For Our Family

Believe it or not, this chart dramatically changed our church attendance. 


Because writing

"I wanted to sleep in" 

as the reason why we didn't go to church 

illuminated the truth of my HEART. 

A heart who desires God prioritizes God over that of things of his own desires.  That is the crux of heart change: dying to self and living for Him. 

Take a minute and think about what your chart would like for 2017.  Would it be full of Sunday verses or would it be full of Sunday excuses?  What do those excuses look like?  Because the only way to fully check ourselves is to be fully honest.  

And here is where the proof was in the pudding for me. 

By April of 2016, we had missed about one service every six weeks.  In late-April, I found myself in the youth pastor's office asking how to get involved in the youth program.  By May, I had begun serving and by fall, I was fully immersed in the church body.  

Because I saw how this chart served as a catalyst for a change in my church attendance which led to a change in my heart, my desire, my awareness of the why, I want to share it with you today. 

Not because I am a perfect Christian, but because I am an imperfect Christian and this was something that helped my family tremendously.  

{for a free A4 calendar sized printable here}

{for a free letter sized printable here

Now It's Your Turn

Whether you chose to print the A4 size and add it to the pages of your life planner, secure it to a surface in your office area, or use a magnet to hang it on your fridge, this easy tool not only will hold you accountable for attendance but also serves as a reminder of what you learned over the month.  

It is my hope that your family finds this chart just as beneficial as ours did!!!  Feel free to share your results on Facebook at The Love Filled Way

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