So often–when shepherds of a congregation are making efforts to shepherd straying sheep whose attendance at worship has fallen off–a member will be heard to say, “Well, that’s none of the elders’ business! They just need to leave me alone! If I’m there or not there is none of their business!” As gently as I can say this, such a position is absolutely baseless.
Here are two things to think about. First, whether a Christian is “there or not there” for worship absolutely does make a difference, for a child of God is under command to “not forsake the assembly” (Heb. 10:25) and “not to put a stumbling block…in our brother’s way” (Rom. 14:13). Second, that same God ordained elders to be shepherds of His flock and “watch out for your soul” (Heb. 13:17). For your soul, the elders “must give account” to God (Heb. 13:17). The instruction to every member of the flock is, “Let [the elders] do so with joy and not with grief.”
For a Christian to assert, “If I’m there or not there is none of the elders’ business,” has no Biblical foundation! Shepherds cannot afford to shirk their God-given responsibilities!