I cannot even begin to tell you how many illegitimate times I’ve skipped church.
My excuses are:
- I don’t feel like it
- I stayed up too late
- I’m kinda-sorta sick
- My kids are kinda-sort sick
- My husband’s not going
The list goes on and on.
Despite many of my excuses, if I am invited to a fun party the same day, I won’t think twice about attending.
There are so many American fellowships sorely lacking the ‘fullness’ many of us are seeking when we gather together with other believers. We want a true revival of the Holy Spirit. We want the church to BE the church we read about in Acts.
When we aren’t getting this, we may choose to abstain from church altogether.
We get tired of leaving our houses hopeful to experience God every Sunday morning only to leave our church buildings deflated and void of any real experience with the Almighty.
Three Reasons Our Church Experiences Can Be Lackluster
Over the years, I’ve been convicted of three main reasons my church experience can fall flat.
Lack of Personal Devotion
When we don’t spend time in God’s Word during the week, we can’t go to church one day a week and expect it to fill a six-day deficit. Time spent in God’s presence should be daily.
If we only ate once a week, we would feel deprived continually. It’s the same with spiritual food.
Our weekly gathering shouldn’t be the main course of our relationship with God, but rather the icing on the cake.
Lack of Godly Friendships
Getting involved with the people in our fellowship is important for continued growth and loyalty to a church body.
If you are not an extrovert, it can be especially difficult.
Sometimes we have to do uncomfortable things to get the fulfillment we desire.
Developing godly friendships that are within our local body of believers needs to be at the top of our list.
Lack of Serving
If we aren’t serving God in any capacity we are like a sponge that soaks up yet is never wrung out.
A sponge can only receive so much water before it’s at max capacity.
Volunteering can empty your soul out so it can become ready to receive again.
You don’t have to limit your service within the building we call church, but faith without works is dead. Your service should be an outpouring of love for a God that did everything for you!
But what if you are doing all of the above?
What if you are doing all three and still feel a lack when you attend your weekly meeting?
Unfortunately, many of us that are truly seeking after God on a regular basis, have godly friendships, and are serving, are leaving Sunday service still hungry for the corporate refreshing of Christ.
Please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
In my personal opinion, I feel that God is creating an insatiable thirst for the true operation of the Bride of Christ. I think God is calling the church to a higher standard so that His Bride will be ready for His return.
If you are one of those feeling this tug, consider yourself blessed. You have been chosen for a high calling.
What Is Your Next Step?
If the spirit inside us is groaning in sadness for the state of our church, we shouldn’t wallow in despair. Rather we should realize that God has given us the spirit of John the Baptist that cries out in the desert wasteland of our church:
“Make straight the way of the Lord”
Our job is to pray.
Our job is to inform others that there is MORE to God than warming a pew.
Our job is to inspire people to think outside the box of regular church-ianity where all the pressure is on one man to preach a message while the rest of us sit dull and lifeless.
The Church is NOT the Enemy
It can be easy to fall into the trap of dissing the church body and pulling out completely, but when we do that we fail in our mission to ready the Bride of Christ for the second coming of Jesus.
The church isn’t the enemy, Satan is.
He would love no more than to segregate believers into factions.
The Bible states clearly that those that create division will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions,dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal:19-21)
Don’t fall into Satan’s trap when you find yourself discontent with the body of believers.
The Church Needs YOU
I believe the church body is in desperate need of reform.
She needs YOU to help her out of her funk!
If you have been given a large measure of faith and wisdom, it’s your job to share it with those that are ignorant…not withdraw from them!
When a body is missing its little pinky toe, the entire body is thrown off balance.
In the same way, The Bride of Christ needs ALL its members to stay on track.
No one person is unimportant. Your talents and gifts to the local assembly is extremely valuable.
YOU Need the Church
The famous saying ‘no man is an island’ holds true.
We were meant for fellowship…even if it’s found in a broken body of believers.
There is something special that happens when you get together with other believers with the sole purpose of worshipping, learning about God, and taking communion.
Personally, I don’t think this is the same as hanging out with a couple friends where you happen to talk about God occasionally.
Corporate gatherings are holy and something unseen happens within them.
We need to be there whether we feel like it or not…not for them, but for ourselves!
We don’t want to miss out on the blessing to be had by attending our local gathering.
Make Fellowship Non-Negotiable
Paul told the Christian Jews to not forsake the fellowship of believers as some were in the habit of doing.
In my life, I’m trying to have a ‘non-negotiable’ clause.
With so many little kids, I’m a major commitment-a-phobe. Just ask my friends.
I hardly say ‘yes’ to anything that occurs on a regular schedule, but going to a weekly service should be one that I say ‘yes’ to.
If you can’t commit to your current fellowship, find someplace you can commit to and then settle down.
A weekly fellowship doesn’t have to be traditional, but it should be a time that is set apart as ‘holy and unto the Lord’.
What About You?
Are you struggling to commit to your weekly fellowship?
What excuses immediately come to mind? Are these excuses feelings-based or Bible-based?
I know how delicate of a situation this is for many people. There are many deciding factors.
Please know that I support you and want you to thrive in your relationship with God and His Bride.
Head covering Christian woman who loves good wine, coffee, stinky cheese and missionary books. My favorite dessert is Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake. I am a Christian author, blogger, and speaker. I fell in love with my husband because he had rain drops on his glasses (true story). In my spare time I homeschool my six children (5 girls, 2 boys).