President’s Perspective: Invitation to Corporate Worship

President’s Perspective: Invitation to Corporate Worship

According to Pew Research Center (PRC) 2018, consistent church attendance is declining in the United States and evidently in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In my understanding, regular presence is attending Sabbath services 3-4 times per month.

The top ten reasons people consider when attending church are: “To become closer to God (81%); so, their children will have a moral foundation (69%); to become a better person (68%); for comfort in times of trouble or sorrow (66%); they find the sermons valuable (59%); to be part of a faith community (57%); to continue their family’s religious traditions (37%); they feel obligated to go (31%); to meet new people or socialize (19%); and, to please their family, spouse or partner (16%)” (

Concurrently, according to PRC, the top reasons for missing regular worship services are: “they practice their faith in “other ways” (37%); they are not believers (28%); no reason is “very important” (26%); they haven’t found a house of worship they like (23%); they don’t like the sermons (18%); they don’t feel welcome (14%); they don’t have the time (12%); poor health or mobility (9%); no house of worship in their area (7%)” (

Nevertheless, according to the Bible, the number one reason we attend church is not for spiritual entertainment but to corporately worship God. He is the One who invites us in His presence. “It is not men whom we are to exalt and worship; it is God, the only true and living God, to whom our worship and reverence are due” (Evangelism, 133).

From the beginning, God created the Sabbath day for unique spiritual fellowship with Him and one another. He wants to share His holiness with us, transforming our lives according to His character. In Psalm 100, David clearly states: “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs” (Ps 100:2). See the imperative language used? It’s not optional. It doesn’t depend on whether we feel comfortable or not, or whether we have any other obligations.

There is always a place for individual acts of devotion in the context of our relationship with God. Still, nothing can replace the privilege and the sacred duty of corporate worship. David expressed his joy of being part of the worship service: “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’” (Ps 122:1).

Foreseeing spiritual and moral apathy at the end times, the apostle Paul is even more direct: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 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” (Heb 10:24–25).

Collective worship encourages new converts and those who experience difficult times. As parts of the Body of Christ, we are called to edify each other and grow our faith by observation and role modeling. Worship is contagious and inspires even non-believers to dedicate their lives to God. Consequently, true believers always want to spend the sacred time of the Sabbath at the special place where God invites us to worship. Ultimately, collective worship on Sabbath anticipates the great gathering in heaven, where we will praise and worship God for eternity.

I love to worship on Sabbath with our Wisconsin church family. I am always looking forward to joining in praises, prayers, and responding to God’s invitation to spiritual revival. I also invite you, and your family, to join us every Sabbath and meet Jesus, uniquely according to His promise: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20).

“Let us go into His tabernacle; Let us worship at His footstool” (Ps. 132:7).

Titus Naftanaila, President