Reasons People Use for Not Attending Church and Worshipping God
I’m Sorry! I made a mistake last month and published the rough draft of this article: After more than 20 years in the ministry I have heard many of the reasons given for not attending church and worshipping. Here are some of the more common ones given by folks when asked why they don’t attend church and worship: I don’t go to church to worship because…. > “It’s full of hypocrites.” This is probably one of the most popular excuses people use for not attending church. Ironically, for a person to say that ‘a church’ or ‘Christians’ are hypocrites is to assume that they know that every church everywhere, and that all their members, attenders and visitors are hypocrites. Coincidentally, the statement itself incriminates the person using it. After all, the one who uses such a judgmental statement is assuming that they are qualified to judge others – and they are not. No one but God may judge for He alone is “all-knowing.” Therefore, the one who judges another person’s actions as hypocritical are acting as hypocritically as those they are condemning. I guess it takes one to know one. So the next time a person says to you that all Christians, or some church or someone is hypocrite, realize that they are a perfect candidate to invite to come to church: A good response to their critical analysis might be: “Glad to know you’re one of us. You’ll feel right at home when you come to my church. I’ll save you a seat this Sunday!”
>“All they want is my money.” Isn’t it interesting that when we go to the movies we’ll gladly spend three times the price for food than we would outside the movie theater. We pay high prices because we want our sodas, hotdogs, nachos, candy and of course popcorn while sitting in an air conditioned building, on soft seats watching a movie with a really great sound system. Movie theaters make billions of dollars, yet in all the movies I have attended, I have never heard a patron say, “All they want is my money” because they do. How ironic is it that people who willingly pay for their entertainment on Saturday would complain about the fact that a church passes an offering plate for those who willingly give to the cause of Christ on Sunday. Coincidentally, have you noticed that people expect the same three things from both movie theaters and churches: air conditioning, soft seats and a good sound system. Each needs money to achieve it yet their motivations are completely different. Movies want to profit from people. Churches want to share the love of God and His truths. The means are the same but their goals are completely different.
>“I can worship God anywhere.” This is true but rarely done. A friend of mine in seminary went out witnessing in the neighborhood near his church. He visited with a man and asked him if he knew the Lord to which the man curtly responded, “I’m a Christian.” My friend then asked him where he went to church. He replied, “I don’t go to church. I prefer to worship out in nature.” My friend asked, “Well what did you do when you went out in nature to worship this past Sunday?” The man was caught off guard. He had obviously never been asked that before. He stammered a bit and finally confessed he didn’t go and worship the previous Sunday. As a matter of fact he confessed he never gone out at all into nature to worship. My friend kindly said, “Well since you aren’t going to your church how about you come and try mine?” He gave the man some information on the church and the next Sunday the man showed up for worship.
>“It’s my only day to sleep in.” This is a common excuse used to not worship God. It reveals the truth of who the Lord of your life is – you. I don’t mean to be harsh but that is what you say to God when you refuse to worship. A few years ago I had to get gas before church. At the service station I saw an acquaintance. When I asked if he was going to church that day, he replied with, “No today is my only day to sleep in.” Realize, that our conversation was taking place before 7 AM as was filling up his “quad ATV’s” to head out to the sand dunes to ride. What was even more interesting was that the person, as they said it, did not even see the irony in their reasoning – even as they made it. So I asked, “Shouldn’t you be sleeping in?” He replied, “Nope, got to get an early start.” “Hmm?! Sleeping in huh?” That’s what I thought too. What is worship? WORSHIP IS THE EXALTING OF WHAT OR WHOM YOU LOVE AND ADORE. Often, we have heard it said: “he worships the ground she walks on,” or “she loves her cat more than life itself,” or “sports are my life,” and there are many more we could think of. All describe individual expressions of love and adoration. So why do we refuse to love and adore God with all of our heart and find excuses not to worship Him above everything else in our lives? The simple answer is us and our selfish attitudes. I am no exception. Many years ago, I was on vacation in Spain. Our family went to restaurant late one Sunday morning. I began witnessing with the proprietor but when he learned I was a missionary he asked me a piercing question, “If God is so important to you, why are you not in church this morning? At that moment I realized my being on vacation wasn’t a good reason not to worship my Lord and Savior and my witness was nullified by my actions. WE GO TO CHURCH TO WORSHIP OUR SAVIOR. Each of us is responsible to and worship God together and Sunday worship is an appropriate way to say to God, “I Love You More Than Anything Else.” Remember, what we love is what we pursue and Christ must be the first pursuit in our lives. God desires each part of His body, each one of us, to gather in corporate worship to Him. That’s why in Hebrews we are told; “forsake not the assembling of yourselves as some do.” Individual worship is fine but it does not supersede corporate worship together. We are the body of Christ and if some of us aren’t present – pieces of the body are missing and we are not whole. The more the merrier applies to worship. Worship is always better together. It is a proven fact. When more people attend, people worship more. When fewer people show, folks worship less. It’s just that simple. Your presence makes a difference to God and to the rest of us. DO NOT BE DECEIVED. It’s a lie to believe that you aren’t missed because you are. God misses you and so do we. Our worship is greater and richer when you are here. Again I apologize for the not delivering the correct article to you last month.
Your Pastor, Dave