Spiritual growth comes from building a relationship with God through prayer, His Word, and being with other Christians. Skipping church and saying that it is not necessary is like someone who claims they want to become stronger and get in shape yet they never spend time learning about exercise and healthy eating. Then they wonder why nothing has changed, or maybe even become worse, in their spiritual life since last year. God has ordained that the local church is the way He wants to build spiritually mature Christians.
Please understand that I am not saying you should never skip church, but when you say it is important for your spiritual life and you try to teach this to your children, then you need to stick to that commitment. Don’t look for reasons to stay at home when your relationship to God and His Word are so important to your spiritual growth.
Here are 10 bad excuses for missing church services.
“I’m too tired”
One of the 10 Commandments is to take a day of rest each week. We are told to honor that day—protect it as though it were something valuable. God even modeled this day of rest when He rested on the 7th day of creation. Yet, we have created so much busyness in our lives that we have trouble slowing down so that we can enjoy regular time with God. The purpose of the day of rest is to give our body a break but also so that we can commune with God without the cares of the world encroaching on that time. If you are too tired to worship God weekly, then you have created a busyness that God never intended.
Certainly there are seasons of increased activity in our lives, but we should acknowledge that we have created an inappropriate sense of urgency if we are too tired to set aside time for worshipping God at His house. This urgency and lack of rest is physically and spiritually unhealthy.
Who creates the busyness for them? We as parents need to help our children learn discipline and responsibility. We should also help protect them from poor choices that affect their relationship with God. If church attendance is a priority to you, it will be much easier for your children to make it a priority to them. Be a good example for them.
“I got up late”
There are times this happens. But every week? How often do you not go to work because you overslept by 30 minutes?
Maybe we should be less boastful about our lack of discipline.
“The pews are too hard”
No one would be offended if you took a small cushion with you to sit on. I know no one likes to hear about how much more difficult things are in other countries, but this is one of those areas where we really should not complain. I think back to the many church services I’ve been in where we’ve sat on logs or hard benches for 2 and 3 hour services and I never heard anyone complain about the rock or ground they are sitting on being too hard. Not even 90-year old grandmas.
“It’s too hot/cold”
If it is too cold, take a sweater. If it is too hot, take a fan. Don’t let a few degrees keep you from learning from God’s Word .
“The church is full of hypocrites”
I saw this saying recently and thought it was appropriate: Saying that you won’t go to church because of hypocrites is like saying you won’t go to the gym because of out of shape people. Don’t let others keep you from doing what is right.
“The preacher preaches too long/loud/soft”
This could be a problem with the preacher, but it could also be a problem with you. Are you hungry for God’s message? Do you even want to hear what God has for you? I know God speaks to us through His Word, but He also uses those He’s given charge to teach His Word.
Pray and ask God to give you a hunger for the Bible. Ask Him to give you a desire to learn from the preacher. It could be that the preacher needs your prayers and help to know how to present the message of God in a way that helps you learn.
“I’ve heard it all before”
A humorous event happened a few months ago in a Sunday night service with our daughter. The pastor was preaching from Genesis and telling the story of Adam and Eve. Instead of paying attention our daughter started playing and acting bored with the message. My wife asked her to sit up and pay attention. Our daughter whined, “But, I’ve already heard this story!”
Do you really think you have exhausted the depths of God’s Word? People spend their whole lives studying the Bible wanting to understand it better. Ask God to give you a desire to hear it all again.
“Church is boring”
Public worship with other Christians may not always be the most exciting thing for me to do, however it could also be a matter of my own heart condition and attitude that makes church less interesting. There are many things we do because we know they are good for us, not just because we enjoy doing them. Perhaps you have heard people say something like this: “I used to hate exercise, but I loved the way it made me feel. Now that it has become a habit, I hate missing my daily routine.” When we grow stronger as Christians and closer to God we learn to crave those times of worship and fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ.
“I will go after I stop… Or, I’ll go after I start…”
Many people think that God won’t accept them until they give up some particular sin or start doing some certain activity. What they don’t take into account is that we are sinners by nature; therefore, we can never earn our way to God’s favor because of doing (or ceasing to do) certain things. We have salvation granted to us by God’s grace. Our daily Christian lives are no different. We should develop a hunger and thirst for God’s Word and His institution—the church. If you wait until you are perfect to start worshiping God with His people, then you will never enter the doors of a church again.
Don’t allow bad excuses to keep you from attending church and growing spiritually in the Word of God. Ask God to help you develop a new attitude towards His house and determine to spend some time with the Lord in public worship this week.
More reading about church: How to Choose a Church