If you really love The Body of Christ…His church, you want to see it grow.
So, why is it that so many people could care less about going to church?
Even sincere people who say the believe in God, but prefer NOT to attend or become a committed member of a local congregation.
I’m not here to impress you with a bunch of stats about how many people do or don’t attend church…we all know people who don’t go, or who used to go. Why?
Let’s look at 3 of the reasons why people don’t go to church. If we are honest with ourselves, we can understand why. But, let me be responsible enough to say that even though these reasons may be ‘good’…they are still POOR excuses.
1. IT’S EASY TO DO WHAT YOU WERE RAISED TO DO…
Many of people who were raised in church, or raised as a Christian can find themselves looking down on those who weren’t. When we are serious about trying to convince those who are either of other faiths or non-believers to come to Christ, we are trying to convince them to turn their backs on what they were raised to believe. Now think about it. If you are established in your faith in Christ, how easy would it be for someone to ‘convert’ you and turn your back on Him? Not very likely huh? Well that’s their reason. Jesus Himself struggled with getting the Jews to rethink what they have always been taught to see how He came to fulfill the law. Look at how many times in Matthew 5:21-48 that Jesus said, “You have heard…but I say…”
2. MANY PEOPLE IN CHURCH ARE SELF-RIGHTEOUS…
There are those in the church who can come across as if they do no wrong. That they are never tempted. That the sins they commit are not as bad as those who don’t go to church. They make holiness seem so difficult and obtainable, that many conclude, “Why try?” “ I can never get to that level.”. Many can make Christianity seem so rigid, stiff and serious that many can conclude that, “I don’t want what they have.” It’s good to have passion for God, but when we become spiritually arrogant or ever zealous, we can turn people away, rather than attract them to Christ. For more on this read my post, CAN WE BE TOO RIGHTEOUS?
Remember Ecclesiastes 7:16 says, “Do not be overly righteous,” Nor be overly wise:..”
I didn’t mention hypocrites in church on purpose. Yes, I know that is a common ‘reason’, but I don’t think it’s a good reason, because people encounter people who aren’t genuine in every other walk of life…jobs, teams, organizations, but they don’t use that as a reason or excuse to reject those activities, organizations and entities.
3. THOSE OUTSIDE THE CHURCH ARE WEAKER THAN YOU…
I can’t count the times I have heard my fellow ‘church people’ be critical of people who got offended and left the church. Those who came for a little while, and for what ever reason…they quit. I have seen so many of my fellow Christians look down upon those who make any and every excuse for not going to church. This is something that we in the Body of Christ must remember…those people who make excuses ARE WEAKER THAN YOU. They are either not in Christ or babes in Christ. They are immature in the faith or have no faith. They are acting the way they are supposed to act.
It is our challenge to study, collaborate and pray for wisdom and strategies to reach those who are weaker than we are…and not just throw them away. This is when Philippians 4:13 is most powerful..
13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.
Of course these aren’t the only reasons that people don’t go to church, but they are three good reasons, and a good place to start addressing the ‘unchurched’ or ‘underchurched’. They are three almost justifiable reasons…but in God’s eyes, they ARE NOT good excuses.
God doesn’t accept our excuses…
Romans 1:20 (NKJV)
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
God has given everyone a measure of faith and the ability to grow in Him…
Romans 12:3 (NKJV)
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Let’s address the reasons and take away the excuses.