When I Don’t Feel Like Going to Church

Do you ever feel like NOT going to church? How is it that some people never  miss a Sunday and you struggle to make 2 out of 4 Sundays in a given month? Are some people destined to be super Christians? And others destined to struggle with faith for the rest of their lives?

Sometimes we look at more mature Christians who are spiritual giants and we wonder if they were born that way. If we can understand and practice a few biblical principles we too can be growing spiritual muscles that will help us develop spiritual maturity.

  1. Christian maturity = church attendance. Church attendance ≠ Christian maturity.
    It’s easy to fall into the idea that somehow if I attend church I’m spiritual. News flash: you’re not and neither am I. And while that is true, it is equally true that if I’m to grow spiritually I must be in church. I can honestly say I’ve never met a gray-headed believer who has the “battle-scars” of the Christian life that did not make church attendance a major priority in their life.
  2. Arrange your schedule around church services.
    We must be honest that the reason we don’t feel like going to church is because we’ve never made the commitment to arrange our schedule around church services. I understand that not all work schedules can be arranged this way, but many can. It may mean you may have to work at an inconvenient time. I love NFL football, but I’ve determined that no matter who is playing in the late game, I’m not going to miss Sunday night church. I want my kids to play competitive sports, but their church participation on Wednesdays is more important than football, baseball or soccer. Remember Hebrews 11:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

  3. Determine ahead of time that a church service trumps conflicts.
    Even when you’ve arranged your schedule around church services events and other conflicts can still arise. One of the most helpful resolves of spiritually maturing people is that when a conflict comes that church is still the priority. It’s not by accident that those who are spiritually healthy are the ones who are in church.

    I will never forget as a teenager my little league team making it to the championship game. The game was scheduled for a late Sunday afternoon. I dreaded telling my coach, but I knew the agreement that my parents and I had made before the season began. [If baseball and church conflict, church wins.] True to my parents word they let me play the first couple innings of the game. I think I even went to church that night in my baseball uniform. Was I upset? Yes. But did it teach me an important lesson that has guided me to this day? Yes.

  4. Practical Advice:
    Tip for ABF/SS & Sunday Morning: Make sure you and your kids go to bed early on Saturday night.
    Tip for Sunday Night: Have the kids take a nap or have rest time on Sunday afternoon.
    Tip for Wednesday Night: Plan on putting the kids to bed earlier on Tuesdays and Thursdays to make up for Wednesdays.

If this has not been your practice it may seem like a lot of effort. You may end up watching a little less football. You may end up participating in fewer little league games. But 30+ years from now of faithfully walking with God you’ll be able to be an encouragement to another young couple who needs similar encouragement.

4 Responses

  1. Nice one.

    One of the increasing battles that we have is to have church attendance trump other activities. Too often other activities win, so it’s nice to see an alternative view.

    Keep it going and God bless you and your church!


  2. Thanks, Darren.

  3. I was just asked via Twitter “Is it ever ok to miss a church service?” The obvious answer is, yes. I can think of multiple reasons why one could miss a service. The natural tendency of our Christian life is to take the path of least resistance which is not always the best path.

    We need to constantly check our thought processes through the grid of the Scriptures.

  4. Great job!! Pleasing God or pleasing self?!!

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