Three Reasons Not to Go to Church

People have all kinds of reasons for why they go to church. Here are three of the worst:

1. It’s Cool.

Please don’t misunderstand me… cool is cool. I love the “wow” factor as much as anyone. But, cool has a couple major faults.

First, cool as a motivator produces consumer-driven Christians. We start to view churches like we do restaurants and clothing stores… “What do they have to offer me?” If I’m dissatisfied with something, I take my business elsewhere. As soon as another church offers something “more cool,” I bail and move on.

Second, when churches major on and prioritize the cool factor, it feels like they have to compensate for Jesus. Like He can’t stand on His own merit. It reveals an underlying doubt about whether Christ is enough and if Christ is not enough, people always get sold something far less that pales in comparison.

2. It’s Comfortable.

While Jesus wants us to experience comfort (2 Cor. 1:5), he never intended for us to be comfortable. In fact, he said just the opposite, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23. The whole “taking up the cross” part means rejection, humiliation and possibly even death… all the antithesis of comfort.

Any church that makes you feel like you can settle in and take it easy has lost the plot. Worse yet, it will keep you from experiencing the kind of bold, desperate, adventurous faith Jesus intended you to have.

3. It Makes Me Feel Good.

Church should occasionally make us feel good. Good that God is sovereign. Good that Christ defeated sin and death. Good that salvation is free. But, if it only makes us feel good, something’s wrong.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 offers the following warning: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth…” Sometimes the truth hurts, so “itching ears” will find teachers who only tell them what they want to hear.

But, church should occasionally make us squirm. It should make us feel convicted as we confront our depravity and sin. It should make us feel discomfort as we face our self-centeredness compared to other’s unmet needs.

Do you agree or disagree with these reasons? What would you add to the list?