Society and history marks the swing of pendulums. There is a correlation between the legalism of one generation and the licentiousness of another. The pendulum swings in the church hymns – choruses – hymns – choruses. The pendulum swings in the church suits – shorts – suits – shorts. And in many subtle ways the shifts are not that clearly seen.
As the pastor of a church plant that started over 6 years ago, we have not made many demands on people. I have genuinely been convinced that Spiritual growth is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit. This is not an attempt to abdicate my role, but it is an attempt to place the results of ministry squarely on the one who promises to carry people forward long after I am gone.
But I am noticing a growing trend among Christians that I think must be addressed. We don’t really need the Sunday gathering of the church anymore. For many, church is quite unnecessary. Sure, it is nice when it fits into the schedule. But with so many other good things to occupy our Sunday mornings . . . God understands.
I am a huge proponent that God is with us everywhere. We can certainly worship Him on the golf course. We can certainly worship him while running a marathon. We can certainly worship him from the dock of the lake house! So here is my list of five reasons why you should skip church this week.
1. You don’t really need others in your spiritual life.
Let’s face it, our lives are in pretty good order. Relationships with real people, face-to-face, gets kinda messy. We can get all we need spiritually through a podcast and some worship music right!? If you are a lone wolf Christian, then you don’t need church.
2. Nobody needs you
If you are a Christian who doesn’t have anything to offer in the service of your local body of believers, then just skip it. It’s not like anybody really needs the skills or abilities that God has given to you. Those talents and abilities apply well in your employment, but you really have nothing of use to your church.
3. You are just too tired from the week
Life is pretty exhausting, right? I mean how much can a person take, in just one week. One week makes one weak, right? Sunday is a perfect “me day”. You can catch up on all the yard work you didn’t get done on Saturday! You can sleep right on in, and get that physical refreshment your body needs. Who could really worship after a week like that?
4. You’ve got Satan under your heel.
Another great reason to skip church is if you already have the Spiritual life mastered. You are kicking temptation’s tail left and right. You are living the spiritual dream, baby! Your faith is rock solid, and demons flee from your presence. Your prayer life is exemplary and you really can’t even remember the last time you sinned.
5. You know God good enough
Last but certainly not least, you should skip church this week if you already have God figured out. I mean, there is only so much you can learn about Him right? If you are going to go to church and just learn stuff you already know, then what’s the point? God wouldn’t want you to waste your time reviewing, would He? And with so many other good things to spend time on (like sports), we want to make sure that our kids are well-rounded.
Since none one of these are true for me I will plan on being there this week. Swinging the pendulum looks like mandatory church attendance on one end and pretending that the gathering of God’s people is optional or just a good suggestion on the other. Where do you think the church in America is currently located on that spectrum? Where do you think it is going? Share with me your good reasons to skip church this week . . .