It’s probably not a surprise that going to church on a regular basis is on a decline. Some of the common reasons are working on Sundays, children involved in sporting events, family outings or just being plain old tired on the weekends.
Attending church is also on the decline because Satan has corrupted our minds into thinking that we don’t need to attend in order to serve God. No, God doesn’t require us to attend to serve Him, but there are some really good reasons why God does asks us to attend in scripture.
I’m not going to address those reasons why we should attend church, but I want to give you 5 reasons why you should NOT attend church today.
1. To Gossip About Someone
We all do it. When our sisters or brothers at church say and do something we don’t like, the first thing we do is get on the phone (or get as far as the parking lot) to talk about it to another believer. It’s hard not to gossip, when someone doesn’t wear “church attire,” sings off-key in the choir or especially when we get mad and not happy with the way someone looks and speaks to us. We are human.
Being in the church doesn’t necessarily stop gossip, but we shouldn’t only attend church looking for the next “gossiping topic” to discuss with another church member. We should learn to pray for the other person who doesn’t have the proper “church attire” or who upsets us and not spread this contagious disease around.
Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit. Psalm 34:13
2. To Show Up For The Sake Of Showing Up
Some of us attend church, just to say we were there. Somehow just showing up makes us feel that we’ve done something for God. Like we are doing Him a favor or something. God doesn’t need us to show up for Him. He doesn’t need us for anything. We need Him and His spirit to show up within us.
Unfortunately, we have a lot of Christians who fall into this category, believing that as long as they warm the pews each Sunday, that they’ve done just enough to call themselves a Christian. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. You don’t have to attend Church to receive God’s spirit, but the Holy Spirit is present when two or three are gathered together in His name. God has given everyone at least one gift and it should be used to Glorify Him!
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20
3. To find your soul mate.
As Christians, we are told that we should find our soul mates in church. Yes and No. I personally didn’t find my husband (of 23 years) in church. Yes, he’s a Christian and was raised in the church – as I, but we didn’t find each other in church. We found each other at his place of work. My point is God will find you a soul mate when He is ready to find you one – in or out of church.
Most people feel that they should only go to church when they have a hard time finding the right one out there in the world. I don’t advocate finding someone in a bar or club, but I do advocate letting God find that person for you and not you yourself.
The wrong person can also be found in the church, because Satan dwells in church also. There have been many people who have broken up marriages in church, by seeking out men or women in power, such as deacons, deaconesses, church leaders and even Pastors.
God is not pleased with anyone breaking up a marriage because we are drawn to that person as a great leader of God. A lot of us are drawn to people of power or fame. That person is also human and has faults just like that man or woman found in the club. Just because they are in the church, doesn’t mean they are right for you.
We must find someone who is equally yoked and a believer in God and His teachings in order to have a chance of a long-lasting, God-fearing relationship. If you do find that one in church, all praises be to God! But don’t only go to church seeking to find a date and not God’s word.
Don’t be tied up as equal partners with people who don’t believe. What does righteousness share with that which is outside the Law? What relationship does light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
4. To become associated with a famous “mega church”
I used to attend a “mega church” at one time or another. When I first moved to LA in the late 80’s, I attended James Cleveland’s church. It was considered a mega church back at that time with approx 500+ people maybe more. After he died, I then attended Bishop Blake’s mega church because that was the place to be at that time til this day. The mega churches today have thousand’s of people who attend, having several services on Sunday to accommodate all its people.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with attending and worshipping at mega churches. But some of us only want to attend a church where they believe something big is happening. We are only interested in attending to see the latest and greatest in fashion, gospel music and famous people.
We want to be associated with the “in thing or crowd.” We may feel that if a thousand people attend a church, then God must truly be blessing those people and ministry more. If we see church goers driving fancy cars and wearing designer clothes and the pastor flying in private jets, then God must be favoring them more with a prosperity ministry. But that also is further from the truth.
God dwells in every church and ministry that’s He’s invited and welcomed. Just because a church can hold thousands of people, doesn’t mean that God favors them more than a store front church with 2+ people. Again when 2 or 3 or gathered in His name – He’s in the midst!
I personally worship at my church (New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, Riverside, CA) where we have approx 100+ people who attend. I love my church family, because we genuinely love each other and can use our God-given talents for His glory. No, we are not perfect and have our family struggles like everyone else, but our Pastor James Ellis, preaches and teaches God’s word. His purpose is to make sure that we all are saved!
Let’s make sure that we are attending a bible teaching church for the right reasons and not to follow what’s “in” or “popular” for those reasons only…
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. Romans 2:6-8
5. To follow a “famous Pastor”
This one is a continuation of #4. Again I’m not saying that if you attend Bishop Blake, TD Jakes or Joel Osteen’s mega churches that God is not in the midst. I happen to enjoy their sermons. But if you only attend because of their popularity or fame, you’re there to worship them and not God.
God has given each Pastor of a church body a great duty of teaching and leading His flock while we are here on earth. This responsibility can’t or shouldn’t be taken lightly. And if a Pastor abuses it in any way, they have to deal with God.
But followers of Christ also have a responsibility to make sure we follow a Pastor who preaches and teaches from Gods word. This Pastor must preach the whole truth from Gods word including the not so popular topics pertaining to Heaven AND Hell.
Most people don’t want to hear what happens to them when they don’t accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They just want to hear about a “prosperity God” who waits on them hand and foot, giving out blessings all of the time. Yes, our God is capable to do more than we can imagine! But we also need to be taught how to accept when things don’t go our way and we see no other way, but through Jesus alone!
We need Pastors who will teach the whole truth and nothing but the truth – so help them God…
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:1-5
Always remind yourself to…
Look inside your heart and pray asking God if the current church you attend meets your needs. Ask yourself “Am I here for the right reasons?” Or are you seeking any of these reasons when finding a church home? Have you left your current church home seeking after any of the above?
There are legitimate reasons why you should leave your existing church home. For example, if the Pastor doesn’t preach/teach from Gods word, if they are corrupt in their personal or professional life, if the church is divided and dismantled or if God simply directs you elsewhere.
If you can truly say that you attend or are seeking a church for any of the reasons mentioned – then you shouldn’t attend.