What keeps you from church?

I am guilty of missing church. I want to say that first so you know that I'm not here to judge you for skipping. Sometimes, things come up that keep us from our Sunday morning service, but what is an acceptable excuse for skipping and what are non-legitimate excuses?

1. Sleeping

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http://dl.creationswap.com/6993.jpg

If I had to guess as to the number one reason most church going people skip a service, I'd say it was because they wanted to sleep late on Sunday morning. If this is a problem, I'd suggest looking into a church with a later service, or finding a Saturday night service. If that's not possible, then you've got to decide how you want to spend your Sunday mornings.

2. Work

Some people have to work on weekends. Maybe you could get a spouse or family member to take your children to church. Then they can tell you about it when you get off work.

3. Shame

You may feel like you've done something shameful during the week that would displease God, so you don't bother showing up to ask for forgiveness. This is something you might want to pray about and remember that while God hates sin, he loves you and has already forgiven you through the sacrifice of Jesus.

4. Medical Issue or Lack of Transportation

You may be home bound for a number of reasons, so you can't attend a formal worship on Sunday mornings. Reading the Bible is a great way to get a dose of Jesus from the comfort of your bed. Also, some of the larger churches televise their sermons or have them on the internet for viewing.

5. Babies

You have a newborn. Or a two year old. Or five children. It's tough getting them all out the door much less trying to get them to sit during a service. You could leave them in the nursery, but they spend the whole time crying and the nursery attendants come and get you to remove them because they're disturbing the other children. Refer to #4 for a possible solution. Also, some church communities are more kid friendly than others.

Whatever the reason, remember that it's important to get back to church as soon as you can. I know that when I start missing Sundays, I become grumpy and unsettled, like I'm not nourishing a part of my body. Most of us will miss a service from time-to-time, or maybe even for a considerable period of time. You may think that people are judging you for not going...some of them may be doing that! But it's not about them. It's about you and your growth. So just keep at it until it becomes routine and don't put so much shame on yourself for skipping that it keeps you from showing up in the future.