when I don’t want to go to church

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Beloved Friends, give yourselves, first, to God and afterwards to His Church … cheerfully and promptly, without pressure or excitement.
(Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

At one time, I was one of those twenty-somethings who “loved Jesus, but not His church”.

I was raised to go to church on Sunday as a matter of course.When I was a little girl, Sunday wasn’t really Sunday without church. Going to church, like visiting my grandparents, was one of those things I did every weekend.

Now, as an adult, I choose for myself to go to church on Sunday most weekends because I believe it’s the right thing to do.

Being part of a church — and learning to love it — is good for your soul, biblically responsible and pleasing to God.
(Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck in Why We Love the Church)

And sometimes, although I believe it’s right, I find it hard too.

So why do I go?

When I Don't Want to Go to Church

On one of those mornings when I don’t want to go to church, well, there are five reasons to go to church that I preach to my heart.

Firstly — we are told not to neglect fellowship and the encouragement of each other (Hebrews 10:25).

Secondly — Christ loves the “broken and imperfect” church (Ephesians 5:25-27).

The church we love is flawed and messed up as we are; but she’s Christ’s bride nonetheless.
(Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck in Why We Love the Church)

Thirdly — I am already part of the church or “Body of Christ”, like it or not, because I am a Christian (1 Corinthians 12:27). I don’t think I have a good reason to stand aloof and separate. It’s not me against them. “They” are me and I am “them”.

Fourthly — I need them and they need me. We, for better or for worse, need each other. We’re weak alone, but stronger together (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

And fifthly — the perfect church doesn’t exist. I’m always going to find something annoying or uncomfortable. I’m used to being a consumer, but this isn’t who I’m called to be. It’s not how we are called to do church together. We’re called to love and honour each other (Romans 12:10).

Go. Go to church. Don’t go for the coffee, the presentations, the music, or the amenities. Don’t even go for the feelings you may or may not get when you go because…these feelings may or may not be trustworthy most of the time. Go for the gospel…Go to be near to God’s Word.
(Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck in Why We Love the Church)

Sometimes I go to church not because it’s easy and fun or profound, but simply because it’s right, for all the reasons I preach to my heart and so many more.

I was one of those twenty-somethings who “loved Jesus, but not His church”. I want to be one of those thirty-somethings who “love Jesus and His church”, cheerfully and promptly as Spurgeon urged over one hundred years ago.

Photo Credit: JenniMarie Photography


  1. Oh, good topic! I did a blog series on it too. http://lizinstpete.blogspot.com/2013/10/when-you-dont-want-to-go-to-church-part.html

    For me the question wasn’t so much WHY we need church as why people DON’T like to go to church. I used to be pretty judgmental about it because it seemed like such a no-brainer. So I wonder what made you hesitate. For me I had always gone to church and only skipped sometimes as a sleepy college student, but only started having doubts after I turned 30 and had a child. “Fellowship” takes on new meaning when you barely even make it into the sanctuary because you’re bouncing/feeding/diapering another human. There was a time when I taught Sunday school and I never got to hear the sermon, but at least I felt like I was doing something. I agree with your thoughts and I also like the Josh Harris book “Why Church Matters.”

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for your conversational comment! It’s interesting to read about your experience / perspective. I’ve definitely “been there, done that” regarding going to church but teaching Sunday School and never hearing a sermon! Maybe it’s a typical season in the life of many Christian girls. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one! 🙂 Thank you for the book recommendation too!

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