Do I need to go to church?

Ok....it's Sunday morning in our home.  My son has already woken up my husband demanding breakfast but because they are awesome they let me sleep.  Unfortunately, the alarm clock goes off at 8am.  I didn't get much sleep the night before, I'm grumpy and all I want to do is shut off the alarm and get back under the covers.


But it's Sunday.  Church day. 

I feel guilty that I'm not more excited.  I mean, this is the day the Lord gave us to rest and worship.  It's a gift and yet I'm already coming up with excuses to try and get out of attending.  I think about how boring it is or how long it could go....but then I tell myself to get up because at least I get to wear my new dress and go out for lunch afterwards.

So is it wrong that on this particular Sunday the only thing motivating me to go to church is the promise of Chipotle after?  Well, maybe.  But then again...getting to church is the most important thing, right?  There have been times when I went to church dragging my feet and actually really enjoyed the sermon.  So what does it matter if I need an extra motivation to get into the building?

Come to think of it....do I really need to go at all?  Can't I worship on my own?  I read my Bible...well, sometimes...and I try to lead a pretty good life.  Oh, and I pray everynight no matter what, so isn't that good enough?  Why sit in a building with a bunch of hypocrites who show up Sunday morning then immediantly leave the building and sin?

These were my old thoughts.  Perhaps you've had a few.  But as I've gotten older and continued to learn more about religion and faith, I've come to firmly believe in the church and it's importance.

So yes, you do really need to go to church.

Let me put it another way....let's say you're taking a class on astrophysics.  Hearing the subject title alone makes you cringe.  You think it's going to be boring or too hard, but you decide it's worth the effort to learn so you get a text book and start researching online.  You take it slow and learn a good about.  You may even gain some confidence.  Now imagine that you do all of this but also take a class.  You're sitting in a room with other students who are also interested in astrophysics.  Some know a lot and are willing to help you out, others are futher behind than you and are asking questions you didn't even consider.  The teacher is skilled because he's been teaching it for years and can give you tons of examples and help.

So which one do you think would help you learn astrophysics the most?  Doing it on your own or doing it in a class?

Ok, so maybe you're still saying that doing it alone is the way to go.  Maybe you've had bad church experiences...I get that.  As a child attending Christmas mass, our Priest fell asleep while someone was doing the readings.  Not very inspiring.  But here's the thing....not all churches are like that.  Not all church leaders are like that.  If a bad experience is keeping you from going to church, I highly recommend doing some church shopping.  You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

I do think that going to church and spending time with a community led by an expert is more advantageous than doing it alone.  When I became a Christian, I didn't go to church.  I was afraid of being judged, plus I simply didn't know the prayers or even the routine.  When do I sit?  What songs do we sing?  How does communion work?

If this is the reason you don't go to church, here is what I recommend and have done in the past.  Call the church ahead of time and ask for information.  When we moved to a new state, I called several churches and simply asked all sorts of questions, some as simple as "what is the dress code".  Since it was over the phone, it added a bit of anonymity and I wasn't embarrassed. 

Still, you may have a sour taste in your mouth because you think the people who go to church are hypocrites.  I've thought that too and frankly, some are.  Some go just to show up.  But to be fair, there have been times I've gone out of habit and spent the time daydreaming.  Hey...we aren't perfect beings.  Sometimes we get board.  But there are people who go to church on a regular basis not because they feel like they have to but because they really want to.  Yes, there are times I go to church out of obligation but a lot of times I really want to spend some time learning about God from the Pastor.  I really want to feel God's presence in a way I can't by myself at home.  I really want  be a part of that community.

So what is your reason for not attending?  Fell free to comment. 

I would urge you to try to find a church and start going consistently.  Give it a try.  You may find that the rewards are greater than your reasons for not attending.