I don’t want to go to church…
It’s a bore.
I want to sleep in.
I have to practice.
I can worship at home.
I’m not a people person.
I just don’t want to.
Jesus knows I believe him.
I believe in my heart, and that’s enough.
I don’t want to be around a bunch of hypocrites.
“I just don’t want to go to church.” Honestly, if you have never said or thought this I envy you. The reality is that going to church ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. It takes the effort of waking up, choosing to go, and braving the possibility that it won’t put you back to sleep. I know, I’ve been there.
For better or worse going to church is a risk; a risk that you will need to make eye contact with someone other than the you who looks back at your quarter past 1 drooping eyelids. It’s a risk that your friends will ask where you were for practice and you’re embarrassed because church is uncool, and for goody two-shoes. You don’t want to be an outsider. Sure you believe in Jesus, but you don’t have to go to church to prove it. Right? Besides, you know that you’re a good person, unlike your church which is full of lying, back stabbing, set in their way snobs. Some are okay, but there’s too many problem people. Too much bad music, too many boring sermons, too little fun and excitement. Case closed.
The reality is that church ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Why? Because we make it that way. We are the ones who fracture it, crack it, and throw it away. The real embarrassment is we are way too self absorbed. Our time with St. Mattress, video games, sports, and all that comes before church are symptoms of the real problem: sin.
I agree, church can be boring, Jesus knows you believe in him, and yes his followers can be less than desirable people. However, reflect on this, can life, school, or marriage ever be boring? Does the same Jesus who knows you believe him want you to follow the third commandment and go to church? Isn’t being a hypocrite saying you are one thing but actually being something else…like saying you’re a Christian but not going to church like Christians do?
I get it parents, it’s easy to take your young children to church it’s another thing to tell your adolescent “You’re going!” Don’t give up! Don’t let them choose to “want to go to church on their own.” They won’t! They are sinners, just like you and I! The devil is working on them to want everything else more than church, worship, and fellowship. The devil works on us all, but Lord knows a lot more on the youth. Why? Because he knows that a faithful pattern established early on will result in a faithful practice for life. If you are a parent out there, consider this, you tell your kids to wash their face everyday, right? To brush their teeth everyday, demand they put clothes on, expect them to have good manners at all times, right? Why is it so much easier (albeit at times difficult) to have them follow through on these daily tasks and lifestyles? Because the devil could care less if your kid is clean and kind, so long as he isn’t a Christian or concerned with his faith!
Parents, grandparents, youth, and everyone else reading this if you skip worship or sleep in you’ve missed out. Missed out, not from what you wanted, but what you needed from church. Worship is that special time that God has set aside for you, to truly be present with you, to hear your prayers, but most of all to forgive your sins! As much as you might not want to go to church, God wants to gather you there. He wants to give you what St. Mattress, video games, and all other activities can’t. He wants to give you himself, to nourish your battered soul and rescue you from your sinful self.
I pray you find that what was needed from going to church is really what you wanted all along, the healing and peace that comes only with Christ’s forgiveness!