Worship on the Lord ’s Day is as old as the church. It was during this time that early communities of Christians would gather for study, singing, and the consumption of the Lord’s meal. They would participate together in the sharing of their goods and they would spend time in communal prayer. In many churches today, these practices continue.
In fact, many churches have added bonus worship times on Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings. Honestly, despite what some would say, there are some decent reasons for missing these services occasionally. But throughout my life I’ve also heard many a terrible reason for missing worship. Here are a bunch of them:
- “I have a Game that Day”
This one particularly drives me crazy. I love sports. I loved playing football as a younger man and I still enjoy watching football. But from a young age it was instilled within me that sports are secondary to my relationship with God. And honestly, that’s probably right where I put them. Number 2. Sorry family, academics, and social life. I like to think that I have matured since then and now sports have drifted down to maybe 3 or 4 on my list of most important things in the world. But I have always known that God comes first. Thanks Mom and Dad!
- “I’m Far too Stressed”
I get it. Stress can be overwhelming at times. It can make any and all chores seem insurmountable. And we start freeing up our days of the things that don’t really matter in an attempt to alleviate our stress. I just find it sad when worship becomes one of those chores we kick out of our day. Especially since worship, prayer, and gathering with friends are powerful remedies to overcoming stress.
- “I Get Nothing Out of It”
We have all heard it before but it demands repeating. Worship is not about what you get, but about what you give. Worship is our sacrifice to the Lord. And generally speaking, the more you sacrifice to the Lord, the more fulfilled you become. Maybe our lack of “getting” directly correlates to our lack of “giving.” Just a thought to ponder.
- “I Can Worship by Myself”
Many times I have heard that one can have a better worship experience outside, alone, in God’s beautiful creation than in some stuffy church building. Hey, sometimes I agree. But I also feel that nothing can replace God-directed, community-centered worship. Realizing that we are not alone, but that we have a family who is united with us in our stand with the Lord. And remember, there are plenty of other things you can skip to go be alone on a mountain with God. I would encourage that.
- “I Don’t Have Any Friends”
This one is very tough. But, if we think about it for a second, you usually don’t make friends by avoiding people. Maybe what you need is to become even more involved, active, and, you know, there. All of my best friends in the world are people I have met at church, during worship, and congregational activities.
- “There are Too Many Hypocrites”
There are too many hypocrites and sinners at church. True. Maybe that’s why we need you. You can come and help straighten all of us out. Leaving us to our own hypocritical and sinful destruction is not very loving. Come and help us out (and maybe, just possibly, see if you have some room for growth also).
- “I Won’t Go to Hell”
Yes, that is probably the worst reason to skip worship that exists. “I won’t go to Hell for skipping.” That’s always the best mindset to have. Seriously, I doubt my wife will divorce me if I skip taking the trash out. But that’s a pretty terrible reason to skip taking the trash out. Maybe I should ask, “will my wife be happy if I toss this trash?” Or, “will God be pleased if I spend time in worship?” Plus, well, with that attitude…you might.