Don’t Make Me Go to Church
There’s a rapid decline in the church in the West. The church in North America is way down (congregation size and number of them) and showing no sign of change. You may be one of the ones who understand this first-hand.
Maybe the thought of going to church, or finding one AGAIN, makes your shoulders tense up.
Or maybe you have good intentions (you have a relationship with God), but somehow something always seems to bump out weekly worship.
You want God, but not His people.
I get this. I really do. In fact, my first book, Meant to Live: Living in Light of the Good News, which releases this September, deals with this exact issue.
But the Spirit of God through the apostle Paul wrote,
[do] not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching. - Hebrews 10:25
God didn’t give us the option of a solo versus ensemble Christian experience. If you self-identify as a Christian, you belong to a new family: the family of God – a.k.a., the Church. For better or for worse, you can’t have God without having His children. We come as a package deal.
So, we’ve got to figure this out.
Here are three thoughts to help you reconsider re-engaging the Church:
1. Pray. “Give me a desire to be with your people, ‘cause I’ve been hurt,” OR, “I find them weird,” OR “I can’t figure it all out.” Ask God for help.
2. Show Up. Knowing you belong, make a commitment of attending one church for a few weeks. Don’t hop around like you’re shopping for some kickin' heels. Show up with your hurts and all, and stay a while. If after a couple of months it’s just not right, then try another Christian community.
3. Ditch the Perfect Church Idea. You know as well as I: there is no such thing as the perfect church. Expect to be disappointed. Don’t be so surprised and outraged (righteously indignant) when you hear of failings. Be angry. Be sad, of course, but let it drive you to Jesus!
I’m not talking about being a downer or having a fatalistic attitude, but you’ve got to get over your desire (or demand) for any congregation to be everything to you.
It’s not and will never be. You and I are there with our glorious gifts… and our gory stories. This is life. And as we press on together, we will be an encouragement to the people of God.
Finally, I sincerely hope and pray with all my heart that my book is a helpful offering to the Church and to the precious people who are watching us and wondering: what’s going on here? Meant to Live releases September 17th, but get your digital copy now on Amazon.
I’m real because God is so real.