Why is getting to church on time so difficult? Here are some expert tips on how to stop being late for church and why it's important.
Faith,  Radical Faith

How Can I Stop Being Late for Church?

I don’t know why it’s so hard to get to church on time.



Scratch that.

I DO know…we have an enemy, Satan, whose #1 objective is to disrupt our spiritual progress.

And you know how I can prove this? Give me a 10am woman’s event with my girlfriends or a 9am blog conference and I’m there with my makeup on and my coffee in hand! I know how to be somewhere on time…so how can we push back against the spiritual war going on that keeps us from getting to church on time?

Five Ways to Stop Being Late for Church

1. Realize What You Are Missing

Church happens every week, so it’s easy to take it for granted. And unlike work, no one is telling us to clock in or clock out at a certain time.

But if you start thinking about what you are missing out on in those first few minutes of church you might start really wondering what’s at stake.

Let’s pretend that you miss roughly 20-30 minutes of church, like I do, most Sundays.

You are missing out on two important things:

  1. Fellowship
  2. Worship

Some of our most powerful tools are being around other believers and lifting up God’s name in praise.

Hmmm…sounds a little fishy. Two of the things that strengthen our faith THE MOST, we just “happen” to miss out on?

Nope. I don’t think so.

I think this is a satanic plan to keep our faith status quo…or worse.

Getting a clear picture on what you are missing out on (and who is behind it) might help you get you moving a little faster Sunday morning before church so you can get there on time.

2. Prepare

Sunday morning is a flurry of outfit changes and “where are my [fill in the blank]?”

Stop the chaos (or at least minimize it) by setting out things you will need for the morning rush the night before.

Here are some suggestions for things that you can prepare prior to going to sleep Saturday night:

  1. Breakfast items set on the table (or grouped in the fridge).
  2. Clothing and shoes picked out.
  3. Supplies like Bibles, pens, notebooks, phones, diapers all in one place or in a bag.
  4. Coffee on automatic timer.
  5. Chores done so mom doesn’t feel like she needs to clean up before she gets ready.

Every family is different, but every family has things they can do the night before to make Sunday morning easier.

3. Turn off the Electronics

Digital devices are amazing. I love them.

But I cannot tell how many times my already-dressed-and-ready children have turned on the TV and my son is standing there with pants and shirt in hand and no shoes on just sucking his thumb.

Cell phones/tablets are also hand-sized procrastination tools on a Sunday morning…even for us adults!

Many times I’m so busy checking in with email, Facebook and messages that I am not doing MY job of making sure everyone is ready to go to church!

After that alarm goes off, put the phone away until later. Almost everything on it can wait.

You could always make electronics the incentive to getting ready faster if you make a NO ELECTRONICS UNTIL YOU HAVE YOUR SHOES ON AND ARE IN THE CAR rule.

I know that would work in my family!

4. Assign Jobs

Major newsflash: Dad/Mom doesn’t have to do it all on Sunday morning.

Caveat: Dad/Mom do have to assign jobs if they want things done.

A good friend of mine recently told me, “Somebody means Nobody.”

When you say, “Somebody close the door!” Be prepared to go shut it yourself because you basically said, “Nobody close the door!”

When you assign jobs, it creates responsibility; and therefore, action.

Depending on your family dynamic, you can assign permanent jobs like: Naomi always gets the baby ready for church. Ben has to clear the breakfast table. OR you can assign duties on an as-needed basis throughout the morning. Whatever works for your family and helps you get to church!

5. Give Yourself More Time

I’m the queen of saying things will take “just a minute” when I mean five or telling people that I’ll be someplace “in 30 minutes” when I really need an hour to get there.

I don’t know why I do this, maybe I think I’m superwoman…or perhaps I am thinking I’m still single and don’t have an entire family to cart around with me!

Either way, giving yourself more time for EVERY task is paramount to getting to church on time.

Here are some tips for increasing your time before church begins.

  • Getting to bed at decent hour on Saturday night so you can get up earlier.
  • Everyone eats Pop-Tarts on Sunday morning because you need to shave off 30 minutes so you’re not late.
  • Choose to do your makeup in the car as your husband drives.
  • Announce a last call 15 minutes before you actually need to leave to push everyone in high gear.

A Word About Seasons

The Bible says there is a time for every season under the sun.

Sometimes there are seasons when getting to church on time isn’t possible or easy…like when you have a new baby.

But also be aware that just like every season has a beginning, it also has an end.

For example, when I have a baby I don’t attend church for the first two months of their life to avoid all the hands and sickness (we spent 7 days in the hospital with RSV for my 8-day-old son because of exposure during cold/flu season). After that I go to church but don’t mind being a little later in order to avoid touching, but eventually I have to pony up and get myself to church so I can receive the much needed infilling of the Holy Spirit that comes with being in fellowship with others and corporate worshiping.

What Plagues Your Sunday Morning Routine?

I think one of the biggest hindrances to getting to church on time is not know what habits are causing us to fail at getting their.

Dive in and figure out what’s the biggest problem with your early morning routine and fix it!

Make it a family affair. Gathering everyone to discuss what could be done to improve your Sunday morning activities will make everyone more likely to stick with a new program. You can reconvene as often as necessary to gather feedback and new improvements.

Comment below if you have any tips for getting your Sunday morning best on and out the door!

Why is getting to church on time so difficult? Here are some expert tips on how to stop being late for church and why it's important.


  • Sonya

    My husband and I both grew up with families who struggled to be on time—so naturally we struggled as well as adults. However, it wasn’t until we actually changed our self talk that our habits began to change as well. Including showing up to church late or on time. We used to “tell ourselves” and others would “tell us”—you’re always late. The problem—we believed it. All of these suggestions are helpful and could be part of the problem. And…if you’re anything like my husband and I, sometimes the issue goes much deeper. Thanks for the encouragement!

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