Addressing Spiritual Slothfulness

sloth_(c)_Jorge_Salas_International_ExpeditionsThe only record we have of Jesus skipping church was literally over His dead body (Though technically He even took the time to preach while He was dead).

But that’s cool. You do you.

That’s the trend in the church today. Even the “regular” attenders aren’t as “regular” as they used to be. Whereas that used to mean 3-out-of-4 Sundays a month, now it means 1 or 2…if that.

I’m going to say something really controversial here. When it comes to worship, “regular” means every week. And (unless we are ill or incapacitated), we know we have no explanation for irregularity besides spiritual slothfulness.

Fact: You always knew where to find Jesus on the Sabbath. (Didn’t you know you’d find me in my Father’s house?)

Fact: God commands us to “remember” the Sabbath and keep it holy.

Fact: The only thing that changes in the New Testament is that worship moves to the first day of the week, because of the whole Resurrection thing.

Fact: The way we spend our time (like the way we spend our money) is a reflection of our priorities. And at the risk of abusing a Ricky Bobby quote, “If God isn’t first, He’s last.”

I’m a pastor. I have heard pretty much every reason why a person doesn’t come to church, need church, or want to associate with church.

And only some of them make me throw up in my mouth.

(Come on, that’s Biblical.)

Okay, now that I’ve come across as a hardline jackass (that word is also Biblical), let me say a few things more:

  1. I’m sorry some of you have been hurt by those in the church, sometimes even the leaders.
  2. I’m sorry there are some things (or people) at church that irritate you.
  3. I’m sorry sometimes church is boring.
  4. I’m sorry that worship falls on a day off, and you’re overworked as it is.
  5. I’m sorry that sometimes churches seem more like social clubs than places of worship.
  6. I’m sorry if you ever stopped going to worship and nobody noticed.

I can relate to some/most of your frustrations, and I work at a church!

But besides the facts, there are a few more reasons to re-think “regular” worship:

  1. God is there. Sure, He’s everywhere, but He’s there in a unique, grace-filled sort of way.
  2. God is at work there. When we hear His Word, it engages our hearts and minds in a way that no other book in the history of the world can. Sometimes, it calls us out. Other times, it comforts.
  3. God is at work there in and through His people. The word “church” really has to do with an assembled, gathered group (congregation). And for all the times I have seen the church at its worst, when the church is at its best there is no substitute. Love is purer, and relationships are deeper. I see it all the time, in ways that blow me away.
  4. Maybe it’s a “you” problem. If you don’t feel like you’re being “fed” at church, find a better one. If no church is good enough for you, there is a crucial conversation I’d like to have with you in private (spoiler alert: it involves me calling you arrogant).

Even though I had a few things to say, I know you’ll do what you want. You do you, right?

But think about it. Think about the ways God wants to work in you and through you. And if you want to ask Jesus for advice, you know where to find Him.

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