14 Aug

Love God but hate church?

There might be at least 10 reasons why you are avoiding the hive.

1. You bought into the lie that church is a place

The church is a people not a place. Wherever the people of God gather is the church. It’s a body not a building. The key is in the gathering not the going.

2. You go to get not give

This isn’t about the offering plate. It’s about a give and take attitude. If you only gather with the church for “take-aways” you miss one of the best parts of gathering. It truly is more of a blessing to give than to receive. It’s in sharing who you are with others and what God is doing through you, since the last gathering, that keeps you coming back. Get involved. There are plenty of spectators in life. Get in the game.

3. You don’t like the music

So you feel worship during the church gathering has become more like a concert or worse, a funeral. You might be onto something. Worship isn’t about listening and watching a performance it’s about expressing our gratitude and thankfulness to the One who has graciously blessed us with life in ways we never imagined.

4. Church people are hypocrites 

You are on a roll. Truth is, we all are. Since when has anyone claimed otherwise? There is a good possibility there is room for at least one more hypocrite at your local church gathering. The fact that the church is full of hypocrites might be the best sign a church is worth joining.

5. You are embarrassed

Deep inside you are afraid you won’t fit in and might stand out.  Heaven forbid you might not know all 35 stanzas of a hymn from the year 1835 or some new hip praise song fresh off the stage of youth camp. Who cares? This isn’t auditions for American Idol! The root here is pride. Your personal pride needs to be swallowed before you can be properly spiritually nourished. Sorry, this might sting a little but there is more to this one that goes beyond the surface.

6. You feel judged

This is a real possibility but it likely has more to do with how you see yourself than how you see others. If you feel judged rather than loved, by a regular gathering of believers, you might want to run. Before you do, make sure your own insecurities and perceptions aren’t clouding reality.

7. The preacher stinks

No I’m not talking about a lack of cologne. We’re talking about his delivery. Let’s face it, preachers have strong competition. We are a sight-and-sound generation that has grown up being entertained with pre-produced programming. It’s nearly perfect because all the boobs and bumps have been edited out! We rarely experience live theatre, let alone live oratory, anymore.  Embrace the humanness and the imperfection of the live gig. Focus more on what the presenter says rather than how he says it. Wouldn’t we all rather have a good meaty burger rather than a bunch of bologna served on a fancy platter? You get the point; we need to cut the guy some slack.

8. You don’t know anyone

Well there is at least one way to change that. It’s been said about friendship that you have to be one to have one. Chances are there is someone at the gathering who feels the same way as you. Find each other!

9. You hate wearing a tie or high heels

Who doesn’t? This is a sure sign that you haven’t met with the church lately. Church clothes are history. They are a thing of the past. Come as you are is where it’s at. That’s not to say you can’t wear a tie and high heels. It never hurts to look your best. But if you feel pressured to get all dolled up to fit in, you best double check. You may have entered a beauty pageant not a gathering of the church.

10. You’re just too tired

There is a good chance you really are too tired. The Western culture rewards good work with more work. There is a reason it is called a work week. We have abandoned the Sabbath and it shows. Our 24/7 approach has taken a toll. We need to rest more, do less, and take a time out. It’s hard to get pumped about attending another meeting when you have just finished another 80-hour work week. The key? Work/life balance. If you are too tired for a Sabbath, you are working to much. Once you find some margin in your life, it’s amazing how the thought of gathering and being with others who inspire and encourage you to face another week at work becomes a good idea!

A closing thought and a bit of advice. Don’t go to church. Start by being the church. When you do, chances are you will gain a desire to start gathering at the hive with others like yourself. There is nothing more fascinating than a bunch of bees getting together. When they do, it sure is sweet. It’s all the buzz!

 Bonus point: 

Perhaps you aren’t even sure whether a life of faith is relevant in today’s modern world, let alone the thought of being a part of a local church gathering.

Are you up for a little challenge to your thinking?

For the next 31 days read a chapter from the book of Proverbs in a modern translation or paraphrase. If you don’t agree that what you discover is relevant for today, I’ll send you a jar of honey! Yes, I’m for real.

Love God? Hate Church?