To the Christian who doesn’t faithfully attend church:
Thanks for taking a minute to read this note. Please understand that I don’t write it to lay a guilt smack down on you. I write this from a place of grace…grace that I’ve received personally and also hope to extend.
If you took the time to click this link then it’s likely you did so because you’re curious about what a pastor has to say about a person who is a Christian but is not actively engaged in a local, Bible teaching church.
Well, I might surprise you. Here goes….
I get it.
I really do. I can sympathize with so many of you because I’ve been there.
Here’s what I mean: when I talk with Christians who aren’t faithfully engaged in the life of a church, I typically get one of the following three responses…
1. “I’ve had a bad experience”. Me too.
2. “We’re just incredibly busy”. I feel ya!
3. “I just missed a couple Sunday’s and then a couple more…and then it just got easier to miss than go”. Understand completely!
If statistics mean anything at all…I’ve more than likely just described the reason you’d give if I asked you why you weren’t going to church anymore. I recognize there are a few other reasons as well, but those are the “big three”.
Again, I feel ya on all three of these and I promise you that I won’t ridicule you over any of them. However i do want to share with you how I overcame these obstacles personally and that I now recognize the value, community and tremendous blessing that accompanies faithfully engaging in the life & ministry of the church…and yes, with all cards on the table…I hope that I can persuade you to come back home.
First of all, without going into the messy details, I know what a baaaad experience at church can do to a fella. Been there, done that and have the proverbial tshirt! A couple of them, actually!
Yet, I’ve also had really bad experiences at school, at work, on the ballfield and believe it or not…even at the Bass Pro Shop! Yet I still graduated, worked my 9-5 (not really 9-5…who has those hours?! You get my drift though), continued to play ball and still spend small fortunes at Bass Pro.
You see, in every area of life we’re bound to have some bad experiences. Here’s why- the common denominator between all of these things is the fact that there are people involved. Imperfect people, specifically. People who are flawed and can be selfish. People who say or do things that can cut us deep…People just like you and me.
Listen, I made a personal decision years ago that I wouldn’t allow a bad experience to rob me of a great blessing.
You shouldn’t either. I don’t say this as a Pastor but as a Christian man…few things I’ve experienced have added value to my life and the life of my family like belonging to a community of believers who have loved, served, prayed and cared for us when we’ve needed it most.
Secondly, you’re busy.
Our life…3 kids who are involved in sports, choirs, various extra curriculars + 2 parents with full time careers + all the other pressures of life…believe me, I get it.
Yet even with our (literally) insane calendar we will always make time for what we value most.
Take for example, “date night”. I’ll freely admit I outpunted my coverage when I talked my smoking hot bride into marrying me and we’re extremely blessed to have a fantastic marriage. We’re also wise enough to know that if we want it to stay that way, we’ve got to prioritize time spent together and we do so through having a weekly date. Couples can do this in a variety of ways so no need to be snarky if you don’t have a “date night” but it’s a priority for us…so we make time.
I believe that as Christians we’d all agree that following Christ would be a priority and Christ has called His people to faithfully attend church. It also should be a priority for families because our goal as Christian parents should be to lead our children to love Jesus passionately and make a difference for His sake. When it’s all said and done, it won’t matter if I’ve succeeded in teaching my boy to throw a curveball. What will matter is whether or not I’ve shown Him how to live for Christ and when I prioritize Him, I’m doing just that (Matt 6:33).
That said, I believe that if you’ll place Christ above all, your priorities will see a seismic shift and you’ll make time to obey Him in this.
Lastly, and this is most people I know, I want to address those who’d say, “I know I should be at church. I know it matters. Yet, I’ve just gotten out of the habit and it’s been so long I’m a little too embarrassed to go back”.
Again, I can sympathize. Let me just shoot straight with you: If your worried about what people may think, I truly believe your worry is misplaced. I can’t speak for other churches but I can speak for my own when I say that I don’t know many people who would look down on you if you decided to be at church on Sunday after a lengthy absence. Truthfully, most people I know would just be tickled pink to see you. Now there may be someone who does…but I’d just say to you, “Who cares?”. Please don’t let someone with a black heart rob you of the joy that accompanies obeying the Word of God!
Listen, I’m not writing this to drum up attendance at my own church. We certainly welcome ANYBODY but recognize we’re not a church for “everybody”. For whatever reason, we’re not your cup of tea, that’s fine! I just desire that you and your family are in church somewhere (that teaches the Bible). Heck, I’ll even help connect you with a good church if you’d like. This is not a Kyle thing…it’s a Kingdom thing.
That being said, if you’d like, I’d love to see you at Double Springs this Sunday. We’re starting a new Easter Sermon Series that I’m excited about and I promise that you’ll be welcome! You can find some info at doublespringschurch.com
It’s spring y’all and spring is a time of new beginnings. Please decided to start yours today.
With love, grace and truth,