Why is it such a hassle to go to church?
I know there are a boat-load of reasons - emotional, big, real reasons why it’s such a hassle sometimes. But, there are also an equal number of nasty little issues that get in the way. Let’s begin with the nasty little issues, then go after the bigger stuff in other Nancy’s Notes.
Showing up for church is half the battle. Today, in North America, it’s a tough part of the battle. Church competes with sports, speedy lifestyles, shuffling kids back and forth, work as usual on Sundays, etc. But in it all, you have choices.
How can we make church (meeting together) a priority this fall?
Here are a few thoughts:
Find a church. Church is not listening to a podcast. It’s not pulling up another YouTube video of Tim Keller or Andy Stanley (as much as we love you, guys!). That’s hearing a sermon, and it’s powerful, but it’s not church, my love. You need to mix and mingle, meet and share with the people of God. Your gifts are missing. YOU are missing. And YOU matter. Church can be a pain, I know. People can be pains. I’m a pain! (I write this with the backdrop of politics creating genuine schisms in families and church communities, but THAT’s a bigger, separate, but related issue.) Still, we come together in it all, and declare: we need you, God! We want you!
Look for a church that does three things:
Holds high the name of Jesus.
Shares the Bible as God’s written and reliable word to us, and
Loves all people. (Of course I hear the sneers. But these are the things to unpack with the people of God, not without them.)
Put it in your calendar. Basic, right? If going to church (whether you meet in a field, a home, a movie theater, a coffee shop, or a “traditional” building), isn’t a regular habit, everything will push it out. Have you noticed? Especially if group worship is not a regular habit, put the stake in the ground around where and when. Like sex with your spouse. If something so important is getting pushed out, then schedule it.
Ditch the excuses.
It’s the only day I get to…
I don’t like…
My kids have…
Would you do this with your children’s education? Your employment? Oh, I see, those are valuable and risk-free? Face your excuses and handle the Life suckers. (No, I’m not talking about your kids!)
Prepare your heart and mind all week so that you come ready to offer up all that you are to God’s service and glory.
Prepare your kids, “We’re getting up earlier, so …” (You’re the parent. You’re in charge.)
Prepare your clothes. (This from a fashionista.)
Prepare your body. (Get to bed at a decent hour.)
If I came across in this post as a bossy pants - sorry. I’m not trying to. I’m trying to nudge us to respond to God’s call to LIFE.
Much love in Christ,
I’m real because God is so real.
Your Calling For Today
What’s the hardest barrier I mentioned (or missed) for you and/or your household? Face the issue. God in you has what it takes to face it and handle it.