The title of this message is a bit misleading. I do look forward to Church as Christ intended it but people mess that up every week, including me. In this short list I boil Church down to the basic elements I do go to church for because it’s easy for me to get caught up in surface things.
I don’t look forward to the music but I do look forward to worship
Every week I have an issue with the music. Maybe it’s a song the band has played a thousand times and belongs on the blacklist (see this post for my full list). I don’t go to church for the music because the music can change. What’s popular today will not be popular tomorrow. The worship music can be a vehicle for our worship but it’s not necessary to worship God.
The music may inspire me in some other ways even if it does not inspire me to sing along. The music may remind me of a scripture or a present a picture of Christ that deserves my attention long after the band has changed keys. Worship, to me , is not music or about everyone doing the same thing but means to end which is the glorification of God in heart, mind, and spirit.
I don’t look forward to the message but I do look forward to God’s word.
Not every message I preach is a winner and, if you’re a preacher, neither are yours. In any given church, the sermon title may be cheesy, the tone of voice of the preacher may be monotone, and their may be so many rabbit trails I can’t keep count but the sermon is not why I go to church. Sure, their are some great preachers who defy all the stereotypes of bad preaching but I am also not showing up for the preacher. I know on my worst preaching days someone was touched by my message. Why? Because God used His Word and this donkey to deliver it to someone who needed that verse or story. God’s Spirit is faithful. thankfully, beyond the messengers.
I don’t look forward to emotionalism but I do look forward to the moving of the Spirit.
I am a youth pastor at a Pentecostal church which means we love our emotions. I love emotions but not emotionalism. When God moves, authentically, in my life, emotions signal something is going on, that something has touched me. It’s easy to get sucked up in emotionalism. I have seen many people go to an altar, in all kinds of churches, caught up in emotionalism, and walk away unchanged. I go to church for transformation through the Spirit not to be come more like my church culture.
I don’t look forward to the people but I do look forward to the fellowship.
I don’t go to church because I like everyone. No one does. If I had my druthers I’d vote some people off the island and, to be honest, they would vote me off too. True fellowship is not about liking everyone but about loving everyone beyond our carnal inklings. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I need people. I need their prayers, their encouragement, and their accountability. I don’t look forward to meeting some people at church because I may disagree with them about a topic or because they are causing some sort of inner conflict in me. But that’s exactly why I need them. Calm seas make terrible sailors. Church is not not about everything going smoothly. It’s about learning more about myself and growing up in my faith and true fellowship does this.
Church is not about me. Church is about collectively worshiping God and growing in Christ in the midst of our collective messes.
Can you relate to ay of these reasons to not go to Church? Which one?
What would you add to this list?
Are any of these things keeping you from church? Which one?