All (yes all) pastors from time to time mistakenly tie their self-worth to how many people are sitting in front of them on Sunday morning. So it always seems a little self-serving to tell people to come to church. But most of the time my heart and the heart of the other great ministers in our town are more concerned with your spiritual growth than with Sunday attendance growth.
For fun I put together a top 10 list of reasons to skip church.
10. Because I am sick. Oh really, you have the sniffles? I’m kidding! That’s a great reason! If you are sick please don’t come to church. We can pray for you from a safe distance.
9. Because the Broncos play the early game. If only there was some sort of technology available to record it and watch it later. But until we have that kind of advance technology, Bronco fans get a pass. (That last sentence is the reason we need punctuation for sarcasm.)
8. Because you don’t want your kids to go to church when they’re adults. I tell parents all the time: decide today how often you want your kids to go to church when they are adults, then double that amount for your involvement. If you want your kids to go every week, then you better be in the building twice a week. Your kids are not going to be more committed as adults than you are right now.
7. Because I am on vacation. That’s an okay reason for not being at this church, but more than likely there is a church wherever you are vacationing. If you are visiting your kids, go to their church, insist on it. Going to church while on your vacation is a great reminder that you are part of the Universal Church.
Get ready to hate me:
6. Because animals are easier to kill on Sunday than any other day of the week. I know hunting is important, it is a huge part of our culture, and you have to put meat in the freezer. But I wonder if anyone would try this next season: Honor God by making Sunday morning worship a priority and see if he doesn’t bless you for it.
5. Because I don’t like the preacher. I know that several hunting and/or Bronco fans now find this reason very applicable. That is a good reason to not go to a specific church, but not church in general. Chaffee County is blessed with great pastors. If you have gotten sideways with one of them, I bet you could find common ground in the same time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.
4. Because I have to work. Well so do I, but I show up every Sunday. Again, I’m kidding. That happens, you get a pass. But communicate to your employer your commitment to be part of a local church and see if you can’t be rescheduled or take your lunch hour during service times.
3. Because my kids have sports. When you are parenting, more is caught than taught. What your kids are catching is “sports are more important than my faith.” I have kids who love sports too, and what I tell them is: “it’s more important to me that you grow up to be a great disciple than a great athlete”. I usually allow them to pick one or two Sunday events a year that they can participate in.
2. Because divorce doesn’t seem that bad. Did you know that couples who attend church four times or more a month get divorced at a rate of 12-15%. Couples who attend three time or less get divorced at a rate more than double that – near 40%.
1. Because I am not interested in growing. To be honest, I don’t know many people who are not regular attenders at a local church who are spiritually growing. By growing I mean people who are becoming a more useful tool in the hands of God to spread His love. People who are renewing their minds to think and act more like Christ. People who treat others as more important than themselves.
King David writes a song to be sung on the Sabbath in what the Jews called a “Sacred Assembly,” we would just call it church. It was a Song for the Sacred Assembly about the Sacred Assembly. Here is part of it:
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
They will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
Planted in the house of the Lord,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
Those planted in the house of the Lord will flourish, will grow, and will bear fruit. Where are you planted? If you want to grow, may I suggest planting yourself in a local church? Be committed to it. Be blessed by it. And be a blessing to it. Here’s my challenge: go to church 45 out of the next 52 Sundays. If you don’t grow, I will refund you the full cost of using this website.