Don't Go to Church
1. I need sleep. I work hard all week, and for the sake of my health, sanity, and effectiveness, I need a time to sleep in. If I’m going to be useful to God throughout the week, I need my rest.
2. It seems irrelevant. My pastor is nice and generally has great things to say, but I can usually hear better sermons online, in the comfort of my home.
3. I don’t like the music. I'm just not a big fan of "worship music," and sometimes the lyrics make me cringe. Sometimes I don’t feel like singing, and if I do, it’s usually not those songs.
4. I can’t stand small talk. Every time I go to church, I have to talk to people I don’t know (and may not even like), and I don’t know what to say after about four seconds.
7. The church is full of hypocrites. I want to spend my time with people who are genuine, not with people who expect me to dress and act a certain way.
8. The church needs to do more than just meet and talk. Bible study is good, but the church should be out in the community making a difference, not just providing a “holy huddle.”Many of us have had thoughts like these before, and there is an element of truth in each one. I admit I’ve personally struggled with my attitude toward attending church many times.
And yet . . . I still go. Pretty much every single week. Why? Let me give you eleven things I consider:
1. The above reasons are all about "me." When I think in those ways, my presupposition is that the church is there for me, as a consumer, to choose or not choose, depending on how I feel. Yet Jesus has clearly called me to live for Him and for others, not for myself.
4. I exist to serve, not to be served. I am called to use my spiritual gifts for the benefit of the body of Christ. The local church needs all the gifts to be exercised for the purpose of reaching people with the Good News and for helping believers to grow and be encouraged in their faith.
5. Nothing I own is mine. Financial giving is an essential part of my worship. Hopefully, my church will be good stewards of God’s resources, but regardless, by giving to a local church and supporting its ministry, I’m obeying God and demonstrating that it all belongs to Him.
6. A sermon does not have to amaze me or entertain me to feed me. My pastor is studying the Word of God and praying that God will use it in our hearts. If I submit to God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will apply those words to my life. And then I need to choose to obey them in the days to come. We learn and grow best in community.
7. The church is not a building, but the gathering of God’s people. It’s convenient to have a church building, but the church exists wherever God’s people gather together to worship, serve, disciple, and spread the Good News of Jesus. By myself, I can never be the church.
8. Jesus came to save hypocrites. Are there some hypocrites among us? There certainly are! And I’m one of them. But if I wait until I’m perfect before I take my place among other believers, I’m going to be waiting a very long time. Let’s gather together as redeemed, recovering hypocrites.
11. The local church needs me. The people there need my gifts, my encouragement, and my presence. When I choose to stay home, no one fulfills the role that God has given me. If any part of the body ceases to function, the whole body is disabled.So, here’s “the thing,” I’m not called to “go to church.” I’m called to “be the church,” which is a much higher calling.
Part of being the church is gathering together with other believers, giving my best to God as worship to Him. This often includes singing, but more importantly, it includes giving my “treasures” and my God-given abilities to help others.
As a follower of Jesus, a “Christian,” I am part of His Body, His Bride, and I need to give up my likes and dislikes, my preferences, my pride, and my laziness, and go be part of that Church He gave His life for.