10 Reasons You Should Quit Going to Church

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.

About April Fiet

April is a pastor, wife, mom, and lover of words. She finds inspiration under the big Nebraska skies, in the garden, in the yarn aisle, and in the kitchen. Learn more about April here, and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Russ

    Nice work here! 🙂

  • I do have legitimate problems that aren’t tongue in cheek, too. There isn’t a PCUSA, INC or even a vibrant Episcopal congregation in our current town. I’m frankly too liberal for more conservative denominations. My brain goes all wacky when people push traditional gender roles and I’m a stay at home mom….it’s emotional for me.
    Maybe growing up a small town, preachers’ kid has distorted my idea of what my relationship with a church should be.

    • UMC was autocorrected…

    • Wow. That would be really tough 🙁 I can imagine it would be terribly difficult to connect with a church that held views that are so different from your own. Are you in a small community?

    • intercision

      I’m right there with you. I am an LGBT ally so that limits my choice of churches but I find the most passionate churches are really conservative. I don’t have a car and liberal churches in my area don’t have a ride ministry so I can’t even get to them. So I’m just on Facebook all the time.

  • Mary

    Read this on Snarky Saturday.may take the list with me tomorrow and find grace to cover it. Like this!

    • Oooh…what’s Snarky Saturday? It sounds like something I would enjoy. 🙂 Glad you liked this – thanks for reading!

  • Nice piece, April. Keep up the good work on your many many fronts. I still think you should look up Jean Kerr’s “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies”–a predecessor of Erma Bombeck and much smoother, but going way back to the 1950’s. Her husband was a broadway playwright.
    Blessings on all you do.

    • Thank you so much, Charlotte 🙂 And yes…I have her book written down. I’m excited to read it!

  • Reminds me of 10 Reasons Not To Wash:
    1. I was forced to as a child.
    2. People who wash are hypocrites — they think they are cleaner than everybody else.
    3. There are so many different kinds of soap, I can’t decide which one is best.
    4. I used to wash, but I got bored and stopped.
    5. I wash only on special occasions, like Christmas and Easter.
    6. None of my friends wash.
    7. I’ll start washing when I get older and dirtier.
    8. I can’t spare the time.
    9. The bathroom is never warm enough in winter or cool enough in summer.
    10. People who make soap are only after your money.
    🙂

  • Pingback: 10 Reasons People With Disabilities Shouldn’t Go to Church | The Angry Manfail()

  • Brad O’Donnell

    The real reasons to quit church…

    Watch…www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuwmi2EWAD8

    Christian website gotquestions.org says
    “few young adults believe in Satan or that Christianity is the only
    true religion.” This is what’s killing the church. Why don’t they
    fear Satan or go to church?

    The most compelling reason is
    sociological. Young adults go to school, work, and live with diverse
    friends now. If you watch The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon lives with
    such a mix and for many years… this group is their family.

    The problem is that the church doesn’t
    play well with others. It’s the only religion that insists that all
    others are abominations, and that Christians need to convert the
    heathen.

    This has struck a cultural nerve with
    most young adults. They’re tired of being trained that we’re
    righteous and everyone else is evil. So they quit church rather than
    offend their new friends. This is why Parade Magazine says a quarter
    of Americans have made the move from religion to spiritualism. This
    could be the undoing of the world’s largest religion.

    Clergy lament that is a “godless
    secular” generation, but Parade says 69% still believe in God.
    The real crisis for the church is that they’re finding God without
    the church.

    Truly, Brad O’Donnell, Richmond, Va.

    http://www.quittingchurch.com

  • Brad O’Donnell

    Fixing Christianity “for Dummies”

    The church is dying. Gallop says less than 20% still go. The old guard can’t understand why young people won’t join. The problem is not insurmountable and can be fixed.

    Gotquestions.org says the crisis is that “few young adults believe in Satan or that Christianity is the only true religion.” It’s a church killer. Young adults now live in a diverse culture with diverse friends. They don’t want to offend them because the church condemns their religions, so they just quit church. The saddest part, is that Christ never condemned other religions…it’s just a church policy.

    Christianity can survive this, but not without some changes. The church refuses to change, but Bishop John Spong says, “Christianity must change or die.” So it’s decision time. Here’s the fix: When dubious church policies are hurting the religion, they can be corrected when they are not the teaching of Jesus Christ.

    “When Constantine became Emperor of Rome, he nominally became a ‘Christian,’ but being a sagacious politician, he sought to… merge Paganism with the Roman Church.”* (325 AD)

    Young adults are educated, so they know that judgment, Satan, hell, Easter and Yuletide were all Pagan religion added to Christianity by the Romans. Spong concedes that “the church has always been in the guilt producing, control business.” Young people get it and won’t be controlled. The controversy is senseless, because judgment and control were never the message of Jesus Christ anyway.

    Christianity can thrive again, but we need to refocus on “the religion of love Christ came to announce to the world,” before it was altered by the Romans.

    Brad O’Donnell odonbrad@gmail.com

    Author: “Where to Now Saint Paul?”

    http://www.wheretonowstpaul.com

    *(

    *(

    http://www.hope-of-israel.org/cmas1.htm)

  • Brad O’Donnell

    Barna Research says only 3% of young adults believe in Satan now… This is the church killer, because the church depends of this fear to keep people compliant.

    Judgment…The Grand Deception of Christianity

    I went back to school after college because I was baffled how Christianity had been the cruelest, most murderous institution in western history when Christ founded it as a religion of brotherly love. When did it get derailed to the modern religion of judgment and condemnation? Even though churches don’t torture and murder for Christ anymore, they still condemn non-Christians as heathen bound for hell.

    When you study early Christianity, you learn that it didn’t discriminate and judge others like today. That’s because it’s a completely different religion…Christianity was radically transformed by the Romans when they commandeered it 325 AD.

    The pagan world always venerated wrathful, vengeful gods. Christ was the revolutionary who countered that God was not vengeful, but loving and forgiving…and that He only asked us to love and help one another. When clergy preach that Christ will return as a vengeful god of judgment, they’re denying His fundamental covenant of brotherhood. How could a god of love renege on His charter?

    History reveals that there was no judgment, Satan, hell, Easter, Christmas, virgin birth, Christmas story, or “son of god” theology in the first 300 years of Christianity… As it turns out, this was all pagan dogma introduced by the Romans when they commandeered the faith in the 4th century. Churches tell us we can only save our souls if we accept this religion and the teaching of Christ…But the church’s crisis is that none of this was the religion of Jesus Christ.

    “When Constantine became Emperor of Rome, he nominally became a Christian …but being a sagacious politician, he sought to blend Pagan practices with ‘Christian’ beliefs, to merge Paganism with the Roman Church. (Roman) Christianity was the last great creation of the ancient Pagan world.” (www.hope-of-israel.org/cmas1.htm)

    This is why Bishop John Spong concedes “the church has always been in the guilt producing control business and dangled us between their imaginary heaven and hell as a control tactic.”

    The only way that Christianity could save itself would be to honestly revert to the original religion of love Christ came to announce to the world… Since the church will never be able to do that, it will inevitably wither into obscurity in the near decades

    Brad O’Donnell, author “Where to Now Saint Paul?”

    video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQVyZ74HmiA

  • Stash

    I have started hating church and Christians. That’s enough of a reason to make me not go.

  • Brad O’Donnell

    Why are so many people leaving church? I can tell you… Parade Magazine poll showed that 24% have left church…and Barna Religious Research says that only 3% of young adults believe in Satan or that Christianity is true.

    The silver lining for Christianity is that most who have left, like myself, are Christian Spiritualists who still love Christ, but recognize biblical brimstone as feudal scare tactics of old patronistic Roman Church Christianity.

    This is not a brand new crisis for the church. The church has a long horrific history of terrifying and torturing the masses on this issue. A religion of love? Really?

    Most of the forefathers rejected church Christianity and knew many colonists were here to escape the terror of the church in Europe. Jefferson said, “The church perverted the purest religion ever preached for the purpose of gaining wealth and power…and that Revelations had to have been written by a mad man.” Lincoln said a god of love could not punish his children in eternal pain, as the Christians would say.”

    Pope Benedict XVl learned in seminary that there were two separate and opposing Christianities in the 2nd century…The Jewish Christianity of Jesus vs. the gentile Roman Christianity of Paul that became modern church religion. Church Roman Christianity is not the Jewish religion of love Christ came to announce to the world.

    Church loyalists scoff Christian Spirituality, but most young adults reject church… Many are becoming atheists. If there’s no future for traditional brimstone Christianity, would you prefer that America become Atheistic or Christian Spiritualist?

    Brad O’Donnell, author “Where to Now Saint Paul?” video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQVyZ74HmiA

    • Thanks for this info and your link, Brad. Perhaps I didn’t make clear in my post that this was a satire. 🙂

      • Brad O’Donnell

        Hi April, thx for getting back. The satire was not lost on me…however, your levity is based on the real world crisis of the church being in free fall in this new secular world. You asked for submissions adding to “why we should quit church.” I just thought I wold take the opportunity to address the serious side of the issue that you alluded to… (for my levity, a preposition is something you should never end a sentence with.)

  • Jerry Mecaskey

    This is terrific. Thanks.

    Also, we have just lived through a large “boom” in church attendance, following WW II. I remember reading some people who track stats on church attendance saying that we are just returning to earlier baseline attendance numbers. Who knows? Not to make light of lower attendance, but if we are returning to normal, unwillingly, perhaps it is modernity plus some additional factors leading to lower attendance.

    • Thanks so much!

      I have wondered that sometimes, too. Perhaps we aren’t in a downturn, but we are returning back to baseline. That may not be comforting to people who are worried about being able to keep the doors of the churches open, but I think it is helpful to know that the boom we lived through isn’t something that’s been normal throughout the church’s history.

  • Sam Son

    Why I mostly quit going to Sunday church. (I still do on occasion).

    1. Started to value and understand the importance of the 4th commandment. This placed less emphasis on a need to attend a Sunday church because I regularly teach the Bible to my children on the Sabbath.
    2. I would rather tithe directly to the poor than to organizations with overhead. Even though all charities have overhead, I would argue that giving through a church is less efficient due to lights, electricity, insurance, money for carnivals, money for pastor, money for parking lot repair, money for HVAC repairs, money for a new roof, money for the organist, MONEY FOR COFFEE! (EVEN THOUGH I DO LOVE SUBSIDIZED COFFEE) etc etc, . Also Paul was a tent maker who goes on record collecting money strictly for only those believers who needed it.
    3. Sermons were generally too superficial. I am not against Sunday School but where does it say in the Bible that we are supposed to attend a church service? The Bible does encourage fellowship. That does not have to be a church service.
    4. Most of the Sunday churches that I know teach doctrine and have little regard for drilling down to test the validity of the doctrine. Sure, there is truth taught but also questionable teachings. I don’t want my kids in a Sunday school getting taught bad doctrine.
    5. Fellowship is sometimes hard to find if you don’t go to a Sunday Church…… but not impossible.
    6. Most Sunday churches hold on to their pagan roots. Trunk or treat (pagan), Easter (pagan) Christmas (pagan). Yes I know that is a debate unto itself but everyone agrees at least that the origin of those days have pagan roots.
    7. Sundays were made for working. It an extra day to get things done around the house.