Things That Bug Me About Church

Perhaps you’ve heard about the mother who went to wake her son for church one Sunday morning. When she knocked on his door, he said, “I’m not going!”

“Why not?” his mother asked.

“I'll give you two good reasons,” he said. “One, they don’t like me very much and two, I don’t like them very much either.”

His mother replied, “I’ll give you two good reasons why YOU WILL go to church. One, you’re 47 years old and two, you’re the pastor!”

This little story is so wrong on a number of levels, however, it does get the point across. Sometimes we just don’t really feel like going to church.

Let me say that I’ve heard a lot from people who don’t like going to church. Some of their comments are like this one: “I love Jesus Christ more than anything or anyone in the world, but I just dread going to church...”

If you think about it, there are some pretty good reasons why people might not want to go to church. Hey, there are things that really bug me about church too... and I’m the pastor!

For example, we reformed evangelicals think that liturgy might be a bit of a rut, a little too much sameness every Sunday. Then again, if we’re honest, our evangelical services are also predictable. One blogger wrote: “And with the repetition, that’s just it. You come in, sit, maybe do an early morning Bible study, sing a song, hear the message, do your tithes, maybe hear another song, get the closing remarks, and then you’re done. Rinse and repeat. Every Sunday. I’m - So - Tired [of it]!”

A lack of community closeness might be another example. It’s difficult to be authentic in a group setting where you haven’t really taken the time to get to know the person sitting next to you. How, then, can you trust anyone with the hurts or challenges you are facing? And so, we put on our masks and smile and pretend that everything is OK.

Finally, it might look like church has little or no impact on those who are attending. God has not spoken. Lives are not changed. Are we any better for attending? The world makes another six revolutions before we do it all again next Sunday!

I’d be the first to admit that there are a lot of things that bug me about church. However, as predictable and disconnected as church can be, it is still the body of Christ. It is not perfect because it is made up of imperfect people. Jesus said, “I will build my church...” and then he started building by laying His own life down as the foundation! Think about it. Jesus felt that the church was worth dying for. Doesn’t that fact alone give the church great value?

One day the church will be perfect! That’s a promise. The Bible says that Jesus gave Himself to the church so that He could “present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:27). In the mean time, God’s not finished with us yet! And that, my friends, gives me great hope and it also helps me invest my time in my local church.