Why I Don’t Like Church But Go Anyway

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

I’m a Christian girl but I am taking a hiatus from church membership presently. When one is looking for a home the search invades all aspects of life including church. Or at least, it serves as a pretty good excuse for not going, and just hip-hopping from one church to the other, or doing the on-line internet thing, keeping one ear tuned to the sermon if it proves to be a good one. Like listening to the Christian radio station while driving. Not too terribly involved, but if something pops up, you listen.

Although, if I am honest, I was never much of a church girl. I am always a Jesus girl and I am not shy about it. I adore him. But church? Or Jesus’ Bride, as Scripture calls it? Well, I just never got into the groove of it. I find it boring. For several reasons.

1. I could never get anyone to simply ANSWER my questions. I now know that they likely didn’t know the answer, and that truly some of my questions were a bit on the bizarre side. (Did Jesus have any of Mary’s DNA? How did that work?)

2. I always found the songs a bit dull, and adding rock bands, worship leaders and disco lighting did not change my mind.

3. The sermons never spoke to anything I was dealing with (and it is all about me, right?).

4. They don’t let you raise your hand during a sermon to get clarification on a point, which literally puts me over the edge because my need to know is insanely obsessive  But, if they let me, they’d have to let everyone, and then we’d never get out of there, which is a common complaint anyway without the Q&A at the end.

5. Prepare to so roll your eyes at this one: I simply can never think of a thing to wear. In my defense, I spend Mon-Sat in Carharts covered in dirt, so it is hard to drag out something suitable and fashionable–something I won’t be tugging at during the service–and feel like I look good. I have spent the whole hour and a half completely self-conscious about my dress. I am the female version of Shallow Hal over here.

6. And, lastly the old favorite: church is full of hypocrites. Oh, don’t groan. It is. And, on my best days I am able to acknowledge that I am the worst of the lot. But, when I am feeling sorry for myself and don’t want to go, I can always throw that one around.

Still, with all that, I have spent most of my life going to church. And, all of my adult family life. I was very glad that my kids loved our family church. The fact that they loved it was enough of a reason for me to go every Sunday, but I also made good friends there, and found a niche teaching Bible Study (one sure fire way to answer those questions, study Scripture!). And, I do believe I will find another church, and get involved and do the church thing again, just not yet.

While figuring out where I want to live, work, spend the rest of my limited days on earth (you get past 50 and suddenly time gets very limited), or even where I have the option to do all that–there are some realities to be considered–I don’t feel the need to figure the whole church thing out just yet. Which is a bit refreshing and a bit of a relief. One thing at a time.

But, here’s my point. I do still go to church, maybe not the same one every Sunday or even the right one (gasp, been going to the very left wing Episcopal church lately), but I do show up in my unfashionable and uncomfortable dress, and I leave happy. I leave very happy because being in God’s house with God’s people whether I like the music, or the sermon, or the people, is refreshment to a world weary soul, and we are all world weary. It is exactly what is needed after a long week of work and another one ahead of me. It is God’s Word incarnate, present in that place despite the tedium and boredom and lack of snappy songs. Being in the presence of God isn’t limited to a church, of course, but it is a sure-fire way to ensure it.

When the people of God ask the Spirit of God to be among them, He is. And, that is invaluable. Boring sermons, lackluster songs and horribly out of style dresses not withstanding.