Sunday, October 8, 2017

Confessions of a Reluctant Church-goer

I’ve been doing a lot of confessing lately.

I really don’t know how people will perceive me after I say this:  I don’t get excited about going to church, and there are times I just don’t want to go.

::::There, I said it::::

I go because I know I should.  I don’t want to forsake the assembling together, but if I miss a service, I don’t feel guilty.

I saw a Facebook post asking, “What do you like about your church?” I didn’t have an answer.  I mean, I don’t dislike anything about my church.  The preacher has a good word for us each service, the singing is fine…I don’t know most of the songs, but that’s not so important because I was never very demonstrative in public worship. Although if there’s a song sung that touches me, I may get a little teary.  Everyone is pleasant, though most of the folks with whom I was friendly left when our former pastor retired.

Are you thinking I need to find a different church? Nah. I think it has always been this way. It is not a phase I’m going through. My walk with Christ isn’t determined by where I go to church, and my lack of passion for attending a service doesn’t affect my salvation. I talk to the Lord all through the day. I spend most of my lunch breaks in my car praying and reading the Bible through. (I probably won’t make it to 100% because after Leviticus, I’m thinking seriously of completely skipping Numbers, Deuteronomy, and 1 & 2 Chronicles.) I listen to sermons online during the week.

But I’m just not enthusiastic about church. 
Am I alone in feeling this way? 
::::raised eyebrow:::: 
Would you admit it if you aren’t always enthralled with the experience? 
And maybe you are. 
I hope you are.

When I was a child, if there was a church service, we were in attendance. If there was a revival, we were there every night…even if it was a six-week revival in the summertime. Every service. For some reason, I still remember that evangelist’s name: Jerry Ramsey.

Preaching was different then. My pastor preached salvation hot and Hell hotter. He could tell you in excruciating detail the agony leading up to Christ’s crucifixion, until you could almost feel the pain yourself. There were nights when everyone, saint and sinner alike, was on their knees at altar call.

This morning I am missing the old hymns and a 
good old-fashioned Hellfire and brimstone sermon. 

I am also missing my childhood preacher and his family…people to this day I consider my own family, though they live many miles away. I am missing the little church on Tuscaloosa Street that was such a huge part of my youth.

I wasn’t excited about going to church then, either. 
I never knew there would be days I would really miss it.


  1. I get it. Been there and done that. I still feel like that sometimes. However, last night we attended Fellowship Church in Grapevine where we used to be members and I was reminded how awesome going to church can be. Who knew back when we were young that going to church would be so different ?
    I love your honesty. Being real is good!

    1. I guess it doesn't hurt to come clean every now and then. lol

  2. I'm pretty much there with church, myself, right now. And it grieves me terribly. It hasn't always been like that. The full gospel church we attended for over 20 years collapsed, and we just haven't found home. The church we go to was the church we were saved in 20+ years ago. It is not full gospel, but the worship is oaky. Some good, contemporary songs. But the worship leader has fallen into preaching in between songs. Many worship leaders fall into that trap of pulling the congregation's focus from God to themselves. Rant forcefully stopped right here.

    So, the worship is okay, sometimes good--but not awesome. I was used to awesome. I go to church for the worship, you see. I can get a sermon from TV. The only place you can get corporate worship is in a group. Ack. Stopping rant again.

    The preacher preaches a good message. Sound. But rarely awesome. Rarely soars above the ordinary.

    It feels like home in that we've known most of the congregation for more than 40 years. Our children have grown up together. We've gotten old together. The church is walking distance from home. I remember getting saved there...but, most often, I go out of obedience, praying that my prise will bless God and my heart will be instructed.

    And tears fill my eyes as I write this.

    1. I miss the days of awesome...

      There is something to be said for a church family though. At this point, with all the changes we've had in the past two-three years, I do not feel as if I have a place where I am now.

  3. You can't skip Numbers, Deuteronomy and the Chronicles. Heck if you make it through Leviticus, they are "easy peasy." 1 Chronicles can get a bit bogged down for the first (I think 9 chapters) when they are doing genealogy and I do skip over that part these days, but all those books are so rich in places of God's heart for his people. Think of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Numbers 6:24-26. At least skim them a bit and intermix them with something else you are reading in the Bible.

    I go to church to be fed. I can eat by myself and do fine, but I get gleams of wisdom I wouldn't get if I didn't hear them from a pastor's perspective with words given to him by the Holy Spirit backing them up with scripture. Honestly, I cry through most of the singing worship time; its really powerful to look around at others worshiping genuinely with their eyes closed and their arms up lifted and to sing along (terribly off key) worshiping Jesus.

    Only time I was a reluctant church goer and we really didn't even attend much was when we lived in Santa Fe New Mexico. The majority of the Christian churches let the native culture get into their services and were straying from the Gospel being preached and Jesus being glorified. Though I missed being part of a church during that time, I knew it was better not going than being subject to things that were not of God and totally off base.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I don't think different of you. I pray that God will give you the desire to come and worship him corporately with fellow believers.



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