I began to hate church last year. I didn’t hate the Church in its proper form as the body of Christ but I hated going to church and all church activities.
I am a self-professed church girl. I was in church while in the womb and every Sunday since. I was raised in a Christian home that lived and practiced God’s Word and didn’t just hear it and live how they chose to Monday thru Saturday. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 9 years old and rededicated myself, serving Him as Lord when I was 18.
I serve alongside my ordained husband; not preaching but helping him as he serves the body of Christ at our local assembly. I have an active prayer life. I read the Bible daily and I attend a Bible Study and study the Bible. With all of that, I started to get pissed off just thinking about going to church or attending any church functions. Why?
I don’t know.
I started using flimsy excuses for why I could not attend; my daughter has a cough, she was really tired from yesterday, my throat is a bit raw, etc. Any excuse I could make a case for I used.
I would start planning what Sunday’s I would be there and what Sunday’s I would skip out on. Most recently, I concocted that if I came the last Sunday of 2013 that I would not have to attend Watch Night Service (New Year’s Eve Service) and I didn’t. I really did have a raw throat and I had been coughing most of the day especially when I spoke. I truly didn’t want to have to stay in the overflow room the entire time because I would be too disruptive to sit in the sanctuary, and I did not want to have to explain in a whisper why I couldn’t talk to EVERY SINGLE PERSON I would come into contact with that night. Also, just as true and at the forefront of all this was the simplistic answer. I did not want to go.
I was upset at how long church service was and the “dress code” our church has. When my husband and I visited another local church, they were in and out in an hour. Our service can go for two hours and then some depending. We don’t have a dress code per se but you are hard pressed to find anyone in blue jeans Sunday morning. I don’t own any regular (non-special occasion) dresses. Because I have such a little selection to choose from (two skirts and a few long sleeve T-shirts that pass for decent), dressing for church became a burden and a chore that I dreaded much like folk dread Monday’s at work.
I started to feel guilty that my attendance has been so sometimey. I knew that I had to go today. Once I got there, I knew I had to be in the sanctuary for praise and worship. No hiding in the overflow room for me. While I was sitting and the singing ended, our Pastor got up and began to pre-preach. (Pre-preaching – when a Pastor gives a sermonette different from the topic of the sermon of that day nor is it time for him to began preaching) Before the pre-preaching began, I asked God to help me because I did not know why I was there. I was frustrated on many sides and could not shake free of hating church.
A minister read John 15:1-17. God spoke directly to me. Verse 17 says, “These things I command you, that you love one another.” Then our Pastor began to speak on the very question I asked God. Pastor said the reason we come to church if for nothing else is to thank God for another week of keeping us safe. What he didn’t know was that I was almost and could have been in an accident last week. It snowed pretty good where I live and I slipped and slid on the ice getting home one night and I had Jazmine in the car with me. Pastor also said, we have an obligation to the other saints to just be here. Speaking or doing a specific job isn’t always necessary but just being present shows that you love them.
Talk about conviction. God’s Word was confirmed. Now to remember this and keep it at the forefront of my mind…..