Why is it so hard to go to church?
Sometimes it’s really hard to go to church. I drive anywhere between 30-40 minutes depending on which church I’m going to, and I have to tell the truth, sometimes it seems too far. Sometimes church seems too long. Never mind the fact that most church services are anywhere from an hour and fifteen minutes to two hours. Sometimes church seems too boring, although there is nothing more inviting than being in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes I just don’t feel like going to church. Every now and then the “church folk” are too annoying. The churchgoers that live so unholy that those on the street are convinced they are better off outside the church than inside where the holy rollers go. Sometimes church is just too early or too late. Obviously, leaving out the point that church starts significantly later than most of us have to be at work, or at the same time as work does.
Church, church, church. Every now and then I feel like I could have learned more studying on my own on Sunday morning than I did going to church. Church. On Sunday mornings I don’t feel like dealing with the small town segregated southern churches. Church.
I believe that church is supposed to be one of the smallest glimpses of the tiniest amount of what worship can be like in Heaven. Heaven is filled with all kinds of people. Not “Black First Baptist” or ‘White Sardis.” It’s all worshippers coming together with one common goal: worshipping God!
Church doesn’t feel that way. Church feels like a chore sometimes. Church feels like something we just do. “Well, my family went to church there” or “I’m on the usher board so I have to host the fish fry fundraiser meeting after church.” It’s those things that make church hard.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized one thing about all of this. In spite of the meetings, the “boredom”, the made up notion that it takes a lot of time, I’m supposed to be there.
A lot of times we sit back and look at what the church doesn’t have yet we don’t want to bring it. “Oh, the church doesn’t have a good youth program.” Well, it’s your gift to work with the youth, help out! “The church doesn’t know how to manage money.” Aren’t you a financial advisor? Advise!
I guess all I’m saying is that I get it. There are a lot of reasons that church doesn’t excite people. But in the same breath, it only takes one, God. When those “sometimes” hit, you just have to block out everything and know that the goal is to be on one accord with God. Realize that God has you there to be a blessing to someone else just as much as you are there to get one. Every now and then you should come to church to give something and not just to get “your fix.”
It’s the embarrassing truth that what I’ve learned about myself is that if I leave church talking about how the Spirit wasn’t in the place, that means that I didn’t bring Him either.
And as hardheaded as I can be, every now and then I could use a little bit of “holy embarrassment.”