You know the feeling. You wake up on a typical Sunday morning, roll over, and feel a sense of dread, followed swiftly by a pang of guilt.
I should really go church…but maybe just not today… You would never say it out loud, but inside you’re thinking, I hate going to church.
So many people I speak to (even young, Christian ministry leaders) seem to hate going to church. You might not even know why you have that stubborn resistance in your heart and mind every Sunday morning. Here are three extremely common reasons that come up consistently in my ministry, and three ways you can combat them.
1) It's one more thing to do in your already-busy schedule.
You’re a busy person. You have work, school, family, friends, maybe even other ministries. Adding another 2 hour commitment (or more if you volunteer) just seems overwhelming.
The solution: Examine your beliefs. Do you really believe that the regular gathering of believers for corporate worship under Godly leadership is part of God’s plan for his people? If the answer is “yes,” it’s time to deeply consider your priorities, and ponder how to say “no” to things that might be important, but are simply a lower priority.
2) The message and music just don't "speak" to you.
You’re bored. You don’t connect with the weekly sermon. You’re not into the music…it’s too “Jesus-is-my-boyfriend” or too “contemporary” or too “old-people-style hymns.”
The solution: It would be too easy to tell you to find another church. Although your discontent might mean it’s time to move it, more than likely you need a shift in perspective. Are you waiting for your pastor to entertain you, or are you expecting God to speak to you? Do you see corporate singing as a team effort or just “me-and-Jesus-time?”
3) There aren't enough people in your peer group at your church.
You look around, and you’re surround by people twice your age…or half your age. It feels like a nursing home or youth camp on steriods. There are too many kids! Not enough kids! You can’t take the sea of plaid shirts anymore! You’re done with people that are so. slow. to. change.
The solution:</ strong> Realize it’s not about you. Don’t get me wrong, you need fellowship with Christians in your peer group to be healthy, and your local church may not be able to provide that for you. Yet, that’s not necessarily a reason to jump ship. You might be the person they need to jump start a ministry to your peer group, or you just might bring some much needed balance to your community. Realize your local church will most likely not be able to provide you with the entirety of your spiritual formation…and be okay with that.
Why do you hate going to church?