Countless articles have been floating around the internet these days offering advice about how to get back into the routine of going to church. The articles often offer conflicting advice about making a successful reintegration into the habit of attending worship services. Some say a small church is the way to go; others advocate for larger churches. Some focus on finding a dynamic preacher you can connect with; others highlight the importance of finding a church close to home. Frankly, the whole thing is confusing, and it doesn’t need to be. Instead of convincing you of the importance of getting back to church, here are 10 important reasons you should quit going.
10 Reasons You Should Quit Going to Church
1. There are people there. Seriously. And you know where people gather, there are going to be problems. The more people you get together, the more conflicts are possible. And, what’s even worse than conflict is being forced to realize that not everyone sees things the way you do. It’s much better to stay to yourself. After all, when you are with yourself, there won’t ever be cause for disagreement.
2. It’s inconvenient. Church services usually happen on the weekend, and the weekend is meant for you. Committing to something every single weekend is just inconvenient.
3. Community is over-rated. Sure reports indicate that loneliness is at an all-time high among adults, but community is grossly over-rated. No one really needs someone to lean on during tough times. No one understands you better than you understand yourself. When people get together regularly, they tend to eat a lot, and that’s terrible for the waistline. And community can have a lot of the same problems as reason #1 – there are people involved, after all.
4. It’s too far away. On Sunday mornings it can be hard enough to get up the energy to get out of bed, let alone get out of the driveway. Besides, everyone’s talking about conservation these days. On Sundays, conserve energy by staying at home.
5. It’s too early in the morning. For first-shift workers, you have to be out of bed by 5 AM or earlier every day of the week. Getting up at 7 or 8 on Sundays is just unreasonable. That’s far too early, especially considering that you could sleep in until noon, or at least 10 if your kids allow you to. Sure, a lot of research suggests that getting up at the same time seven days a week is good for your health and natural circadian rhythm. But, circadian rhythm is a lot like community – over-rated.
6. Sitting in church is uncomfortable. First there is the obvious discomfort: the pews, or (if your church is on the up-and-up) chairs. Having to sit in something that uncomfortable is pretty inhumane. Then there is the close proximity to lots of people and noises. People will either be sitting close enough to you that you can hear every breath or cough, or you’ll have to listen to a rustling of bulletins or baby noises for an hour. If you can avoid the discomfort if at all possible, you probably should.
7. The coffee’s bad. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there may be a rare church with good-tasting, fair trade coffee, but a survey of many regular church-goers has not supported this. Church coffee is usually decaf, and is either terribly strong or ridiculously weak. If you’re “lucky” you might even end up with a layer of grounds at the bottom of your un-eco-friendly, styrofoam cup.
8. They ask for money. You work hard for your money, so you should reserve the right to waste it however you see fit. If you want to spend $20 a week at specialty coffee shops, that’s your right. $150 a month on a contract for your smartphone? You betcha. But, when a church passes a plate around for mission projects and ministry expenses, that is going too far. Take back your hard-earned cash. Don’t sit there and tolerate people asking you to give it away. Better yet, don’t even attend services. Then you won’t have to deal with it at all.
9. Sermons are too long. Many of us were raised in the Sesame Street generation, where the fast-moving changes in story lines helped us develop attention spans of 30 seconds or less. Kids today have even more distractions, so they are lucky if they can pay attention to anything at all. Sermons in many churches are 20 minutes long, and rumors have circulated about preachers who go on for almost an hour. If you’re just going to tune out after 30 seconds anyway, probably not much from what’s said will sink in. It’s been said that attention span is something that can be cultivated, but I’m sure you’ll agree that cultivating something sounds like entirely too much work.
10. Real-life church is antiquated. Pretty much everything can be done online these days, so why not church, too? A quick Google search will yield lots of online sermons, and there are even podcasts you can download. This removes a lot of the inconvenience and discomfort factors of real-life church, and if the preacher ever ticks you off, you can just find a new one to listen to. After all, spirituality is about whatever you want it to be. If you aren’t looking for a community of believers who are mutually accountable and supportive and who desire to see the world transformed for Jesus, why try to make yourself fit into one?
There are many more compelling reasons to quit going to church, but hopefully the 10 listed here will be enough to help you ease your conscience when you sleep in on Sunday.
Do you have any other reasons to quit going to church? Feel free to share in the comments section – if you feel like it.