Good Reasons Not to Go To Church

A few years ago a friend sent me a link to this video, and I’ve continued enjoying watching it from time to time. I thought of it again this week as I know how many of our congregations get “kick-started” after the summer is over and school and other activities get going again.

What I like about the video is that it illustrates a number of misperceptions of church – that the people have it all together, have the answers their looking for, etc. – and invite us to imagine the opposite – that church is where you go when you don’t have it together, are searching for answers, and so on.

It reminds me that although there are plenty of reasons people give for not going to church, the one they most frequently give for starting to go to church is simple: someone invited them. Someone, that is, reached out to them, asked if they’d like to go, kept asking if it took a few times, sat with them, introduced them to others, and made them feel more at home.

When we moved this summer we ended up in a home not too far from a church. A few days after visiting there for the first time, one of the pastors called to invite our kids to a youth outing. And then again to invite us all to a family get-together. We were hooked.

Here’s the thing: as much I’d like to think that what really matters is the preaching or worship, I know deep down that there’s nothing more important than reaching out and making someone feel welcome, making them feel like they don’t have to have it all together, that they belong. And you know what? Any one of us can do that pretty much every day of the week.

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