I love the church. I mean I really love the church. I am 57 (I know I look much younger, thank you very much) and I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t actively involved in church. I started going to church before I was born and have missed very few Sundays in church. My mother first taught me to love the church. It wasn’t until I was older that she told me her story.
She was raised in a home that was very religious but they didn’t go to church. She came to faith in Christ when she was 15 and she began to pray that God would give her a husband who loved Christ and that together they would take their family to church. God answered her prayer. Sundays were a joyful time in our family. And my mother would not allow us to be critical of the church or the pastor. It simply wasn’t allowed.
The church has been such a central part of my life and my family. I can’t image life without church. I came to faith in Christ through the church. I was discipled through the church. I met my husband in church. My husband and I were married in church. Both my daughters came to faith in Christ through the church and were discipled through the church and married young men in the church. Did I mention, I love the church? (Okay, to be honest, there have been a few seasons when it was hard to go.)
But many people don’t love the church. Some because they don’t know Christ, some because they have been hurt by the church, and others simply don’t find it necessary for their lives. Research has been collected and books have been written on why people don’t go to church. I did a little research on my own and asked my twitter followers to help me answer the question, “Why don’t people go to church?” Here are a few of their answers:
2. “Sports and entertainment have taken the place of church.”
3. “I didn’t go to church for years because I didn’t feel welcomed, I didn’t think I dressed right.”
4. “The times I haven’t attended regularly are because I wasn’t engaged or connected to the community of any local church.”
5. “The digital age. You can go to church sitting at a screen at home.”
6. “Teen moms I work with think they will be condemned by church people.”
7. “I’m 59 and I was active in church until 2 years ago. Now family matters are taking priority. I connect through live stream service.”
8. “It is hard to connect as a late 20s single. I’m a seminary grad, employed by a ministry, and still get tired of trying to connect.”
9. “The biggest reason I’ve heard people give for not going to church is they feel judged or feel it is a judgmental atmosphere.”
10. “My father was a pastor and I was so hurt by how people treated him. There was nothing about it that resembled the gospel.”
From young adults to seniors, many find it hard to connect to the church. I don’t have the answer, but I am glad we are talking about it. As believers who love the church we want to see it look more like God’s plan for His church, the bride of Christ.) Maybe it starts with you and me being the church wherever we are and never forgetting how the gospel transformed us from death to life. We need to simply share that truth with those around us.
I would love to hear from you on the church.