People skip church for all kinds of reasons. You wake up Sunday morning, and you’re tired, the kids are sick or cranky, your kid is on a sports team, you have work or errands to do.
The list goes on.
One of my favorite reasons given to me for why people skip church is: I didn’t think the message applied to me.
I’ve heard this a bunch of times on a host of different topics.
What lays underneath this are two important, and powerful lies.
The first, there are parts of the Bible that do not apply to me.
Now, this person wouldn’t say this outright. They would probably say that the Bible is God’s word and inspired. They would even say it is applicable. But when we say, “I won’t go to church today because I don’t think the topic (giving, evangelism, community, marriage, sex) applies to me and where I am.
Does it apply to them as much as the person next to them? Maybe not. But it shows what we think of the Bible when we say that. It puts us over the Bible and God when we say, “God, there’s a page in here that I don’t need to know about, it isn’t relevant to my life.”
Now again, when this person says I’m not coming to church, for this reason, they wouldn’t tell you this, but this is what they are saying.
The second, my presence at church doesn’t matter.
The church is a body, community, a family. When one is missing, an important piece is missing.
In our digital age, we have lost the power of our presence in people’s lives, and we’ve lost the power of their presence in our lives.
Whenever we skip church, we are saying, “There isn’t anyone at church who will need me to be there, and I don’t need any of those people today.”
Both are strong ideas, but they also tell us something.
The reality is, we can’t make it throughout the week without a community encouraging us forward. We need people to challenge us, help us change, support and inspire us, and help propel us forward. Even if that is only through a smile, a hug or a nod.
We’ve grown so accustomed in our life to thinking every experience has to be about us or an immediate benefit to us. Often, we don’t see the most significant things in our life until later. We also, don’t know what we do for other people til down the road.
Our presence in people’s lives is the same.
So yes, you won’t go to hell if you skip church.
But you will miss something powerful in your life. And so will your church.