You Were Invited To Church: Here’s Why You’re Not Going
Life is a strenuous, busy and time consuming ordeal. There can be tons going on and it can range anywhere from a death in the family to simply being overworked. Time is simply a luxury we do not have enough of to give away freely. Some of us more than others are very generous with our time. We give loads of it to close friends, family and associates, but rarely would a loose invitation to a random, isolated church by a co-worker or distant cousin be high on our priority list.
The God of the universe however, may be an occasional topic of conversation during a round of joint passing with old high school buddies or a surprisingly intimate first date.
It troubles me how far the two are in the minds of people. God and church. Two opposite ideals. Foreign concepts on the eve of a society of tolerance and love. But what if that loose invitation to church for one simple little morning was a slight shift in your perspective? What if it linked those two worlds of that spacey, romantic God and that unknown church?
Here is my recommendation when you are asked/invited to go to church and these answers pop up into your mind:
I Don’t Have The Time
I once heard a great quote that sort of offended me…So get the police on the phone.
“Only fools never find the time.”
In every person’s life there are priorities. Things that will always be the most important. One of the things that I believe is up there (top two) is your own personal health. Church is a place where your own personal well being is catered to. And suppose you don’t need any catering to, then maybe you will be there to help someone else. You never know.
Finding the time is half the battle. I assure you, once you learn to find the time consistently, it will be like football…You won’t be able to miss a game.
They Keep Asking Me & I’m Getting Weirded Out
One of the best analogies I’ve heard about church is
“When someone invites you it’s like they are inviting you to their favorite restaurant. They want you to experience what they experienced there.”
It may seem weird to you just because of all the preconceived notions you have of church. But if they were talking about a restaurant or club, would you still be weirded out? Church is what they do and who they are. They want you to have that feel good feeling they get, not because of a cult-ish thing, but because they care about you. They like you as a human. So sue them! Gosh! There’s nothing to be weirded out by.
If you genuinely feel uncomfortable, ask them any question you want. I actually recommend this. They will be thrilled to answer you or find the answer for you. They might be new so don’t be too hard on them if they’re not a walking bible, but ask them about what the service is like, who the pastor is, ask them whether or not there is a dress code (I love my church for the come as you are mentality), whatever you want to know. They are there to serve you.
I Tried Once Before and Didn’t Like It
Scarred by another church. Man have I heard this before. If there is one thing I want to tell you it is that God loves the church but the church is not God.
What I mean by that, is that we are all broken people but the only thing that fixes us is the perfection that is Jesus. If you’ve gone to another church and didn’t like it for any particular reason…the pastor wore skinny jeans, the singers were off key, the people fell on the ground, the preacher preached for hours, the church had no air conditioner, etc. There is one thing you need to ask yourself, was I ready to accept God for who He really is?
Sometimes when we go to church we are overwhelmed by all of the stuff and if no one is there to explain it and clarify, we run away scared and never visit again. Then we get scarred by the “idea” of church and just write off church as “not for me”.
This is something I’ve seen more times than ironic tweets about Ayesha Curry. But if we’re invited again and given the chance to go back, this is a slightly serendipitous way of saying, “let me try again.” with someone there to guide you through this and with someone there to ask any questions you may have.
That’s a key part of this whole church thing. Asking questions to the right people. Without it, you’re just being bias.
I’m Already Religious I Don’t Need Church
I was raised Roman Catholic. I had no complaints when it came to morality. When it came to family values. But when it came to the bible. I didn’t even know Jesus had brothers and sisters. Let alone that one of them wrote a book of the bible! And that book was one of my favorites! My point is church wasn’t for us to talk to the priest and to talk to God. That’s not why God made “church” as in the church building. He never made a church building.
God made the concept of a church, the ekklesia (in greek, or the original language of the new testament) to be the physical representation of Him here on earth once He left. Therefore, we have to act like it. We gather to celebrate what God has done for us, to sing about His goodness and teach about His story. But ultimately God gave us the ability to talk to Him ourselves.
The reason we have “church” is to have friends who love Jesus just as much as we do. Friends who help us when we’re down. Friends at all stages of life who can save us big problems by teaching us about their mistakes and how God saved them from their mistakes. Brothers and Sisters.
The Church is a Revolution of Family. (see my other article)
That is the reason we need church. To learn how to deal with people and show true love. To show how to really love anyone, whether they are someone you would usually chill with or not. That’s why you can’t have church at home. That’s why we need it.
I’m Gonna Say Yes Just To Get Them To Stop Talking
I totally understand this one. Sometimes people over-invite just to be nice and they don’t. stop. talking. So we just say okay! I’ll be there! Just to get those stalkers out of our face! Or to get a higher tip! (Waiters, amiright?) But in all reality, the fact that the people inviting you-annoying or not are giving you the most intimate and personal part of themselves. They are taking what is most important to them and asking you, a complete and utter stranger to enter into their world. It is just as scary if not more so for them. So cut them some slack.
Once they have left and you are all alone wondering why the gathering of oddly grouped twenty somethings at table seven just asked for your phone number, just ask your self, why not experience something new? Why not take a little leap of faith into the unknown?
I guarantee church is not what the media makes it out to be. But don’t take my word for it…that’s the point. Find out for yourself.
I Have My Own Church. I Go Once In A While
Then by all means, don’t let me keep from attending. Maybe we can do a you visit mine I’ll visit yours! But I would never want to get in between you and your church. The ultimate goal of going to church is to become the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth so why wouldn’t we connect and get to know each other? Don’t take it offensively. We are supposed to be family!