Excuses for not Going to Church

Lies in the Church by Angela J. Kaufman
Question What's your excuse

Always want your money
For weak people
They don’t preach the Gospel
What’s yours_______________________?

Excuses for not going to church

Caution: Imposter Communities

Some of us know that there is an illusion of community in a number of our churches.  It is superficial. It is shallow. And it’s all for show. This type of community is more like a club.  It’s great to be seen.  It’s great to belong.  But lighten up, will ya?  Let’s not get all serious about living our lives as radically as Jesus did. Sound familiar?

Frederick Buechner in his book Telling The Truth, describes how a community really looks: “…in the world of the Gospel it is the killjoys, the phonies, the nitpickers, the holier-than-thous, the loveless and cheerless and irrelevant who more often than not wear the fancy clothes and go riding around in sleek little European jobs marked Pharisee, Corps Diplomatique, Legislature, Clergy.  It is the ravening wolves who wear sheep’s clothing.” Hmmm, I think Buechner is on to some people.
Wolf in sheep's clothing.
So, will the real church please stand up?  Buechner lends insight to this part of community as well. “And the good ones, the potentially good anyway, the ones who stand a chance of being saved by God because they know they don’t stand a chance of being saved by anybody else?  They go around looking like the town whore, the village drunk, the crook from the IRS, because that is who they are.” The church needs to be reminded of this over and over. God’s church is to be a sanctuary for sinners. A refuge for the broken.

Tim Stafford, in his article “The Church – Why Bother?” describes the church community: “If people commit themselves to the church, they will undoubtedly suffer.  The church will fail them and frustrate them, because it is a human institution.  Yet it will also bless them, even as it fails.  A living, breathing congregation is the only place to live in a healthy relationship to God.  That is because it is the only place on earth where Jesus has chosen to dwell.  How can you enjoy the benefits of Christ if you detach yourself from the living Christ?”     

Philip Yancey, in his book, Church: Why Bother? reflects in this way: “We humans cause God great pain, yet God remains passionately involved with us.  Should not I have something of that same attitude toward the church around me?”

This is a serious issue for churches .  Barna has repeatedly, over decades, challenged the church to find solutions. So, who are they? The “love Jesus, but not the church” crowd is mostly white (61%) and mostly female (63%), according to Barna. They are nearly as likely to identify as Republican (25%) as Democrat (30%). Previous Pew Research Center studies found that Hispanic Christians attend church more regularly than their white counterparts, and black Protestants are retaining young churchgoers at higher rates than any other group. Believers who have given up on the church still pray (83%) and consider themselves spiritual (89%) about as much as fellow Christians, Barna reported. However, there’s a significant drop off when it comes to reading materials. They are half as likely to read Scripture and a quarter as likely to pick up spiritual books. Along with services, attending groups or retreats is totally out.

How can Christ’s body meet the needs of today’s world?  What will draw believers to attend a church community? What will those solutions look like in your church? Prayer and wisdom is of the essence.

Are you making excuses for not going to church?

 I wish you hope and healing on your journey with God.

Frederick Buechner, Telling The Truth, The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale, (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), 89.

Ibid., 89.

“The ChristianityToday.com Connection Newsletter,” The
Weekly Newsletter of Christianity Today International, accessed August 7, 2007,

Tim Stafford, “The Church – Why
Bother?” Christianity Today, January 2005, 49.

Philip Yancey, Church: Why Bother?  (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), 69.

Tim Stafford, “The Church – Why
Bother?” Christianity Today, January 2005, 42.



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Copyright 2018: Angela J. Kaufman, Sioux Falls, SD 57106

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