Why you shouldn’t go to church


I’ve been to almost every kind of church imaginable. Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Non denominational, etc. I’ve attended churches based out of schools, theaters, and even shopping malls. Each are different in their own way. Some have great worship, others don’t. Some have a phenomenal speaker, others don’t. The list can go on and on. At one point, I became focused on the organization and structure of churches and didn’t like it. I started down the road to becoming an anti-church kind of guy.

As I started listening to a pastor named Dan Mohler, digging more into the Word, and spending more time alone with God in the secret place, I started to realize a few things. I came up with a list that I wanted to share with my fellow believers.

Here are three reasons you shouldn’t go to church.

You shouldn’t go to church looking for acceptance. God created us in His own image. That one fact alone means we are accepted, valued, and thought very highly of by the Creator of all things. There isn’t one human on this planet who could give us more than that. We have to quit church shopping in an attempt to try and “fit in.” Church isn’t a social club where the cool people all meet to drink coffee and talk about how perfect they are. Ask God where He wants you, become love, and go plug in somewhere.

You shouldn’t go to church in order to check off the box. Being a Christian isn’t about living a robotic life where we have to complete a list of daily chores. Go to church every Sunday. Witness to at least three people. Read your Bible x amount of minutes each morning. Pray for this amount. Memorize five scriptures per week. Come on, Saints. The Gospel is so much more than that. These are all essential items in our walk with Christ, but we aren’t here to complete a religions to-do list. We are here to love people.

You shouldn’t go to church to strengthen your relationship with God. I personally believe we grow more with God by spending time with Him in our prayer closet, alone, with no one else around. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you can’t have a relationship with God in church. I just believe a lot of people run to the church building every weekend thinking that’s where God is, when the truth is that we’ve already been given what we need. John 14:26 says (emphasis mine):

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

When we wake up on a Sunday morning, get dressed, and head out the door, we shouldn’t be thinking about what we might get from church. We should be thinking about ways to love others, help those in need, and make an impact on the body of Christ.

Hebrews 10:23-25 says:

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Let’s not attend church for our own selfish reasons. Let’s attend so that we might stir each other up in love and good works. When we walk out of that building on a Sunday morning, we should look even more like our King.

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41 thoughts on “Why you shouldn’t go to church

  1. You’re such a handsome and amazing person Chris. We need more people like you in the world who’s paying it forward with motivation rather than money. Stay true, thank YOU! 🙂

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  2. Jesus freely associated with in the synagogue as a Jew not the spiritual enlightenment of a generation led by the religious leaders of the day. He use the time there and in the temple to discuss the key things about God.

    So if you go to church to hear about the social and political injustices and how Christians are somehow more righteous and saved again another reason not to turn up.

    The congregation of Christ looks towards the Kingdom and where two or three gather in his name…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Chris. Thank you. In addition, just want to mention that the church is not a building but people. And meeting together doesn’t have to happen on Sunday morning only. Followers of the Way, numbering 2 million at least in present day Iran, meet secretly in homes. Same with the underground movement in China as well where about 20,000 are coming to faith daily. And of course, while we grow deepest in the secret place with God, and when we learn to make those day by day and hour by hour Kingdom choices, meeting together too does help us in our growth too. The support, encouragement, admonition, ministry to one another, etc. that happens when we meet together (and the smaller the group the more likely all of that can happen), does contribute significantly to our growth and relationship with him…

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    1. I feel the same as your reply Almond Syiem. I cannot help but it helping me grow. To completely understand my own intentions and get along when I’m alone is easy, but as I am with others, I have a chance to practice my faith and love walk, as well as hearing things from others that the Lord is at a different season with, so its a different perspective than what I’m receiving from Him at the time and grows me in ways I wouldn’t experience if I stayed alone.

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  4. Yes! I think God is growing an army of people who love Him, listen to Him, are to ready to go wherever He asks at a drop of a hat, not tied any church organization….the guerilla warfare body of Jesus, for such a time as this!

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  5. We ARE the church, we go to a building to gather together to worship our God, to share our faith, to pray together, to build one another up, to help one another and to coordinate our works of mercy and love together and those kinds of things. We need to BE the church not just go to it. We gather together out of obedience and love. Once we start thinking about being the church instead of attending it, it changes everything!

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  6. Personally, I’m not concerned with why people go to church. I’ve seen many paltry reasons and have had a few of my own. I concern myself with why they stay. I am part of the body of Christ. I am not a hermit or an island unto myself. I need people. From the time of Christ’s Ascension, people have gathered to remember and share in His life, death, and resurrection.

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  7. Great post, brother! Amen to that.

    Some other misconceptions of why people go to church is they do think that church is where they can get saved or salvation per-se and church is only where we can pray and talk to Elohim.

    Yeshua (Jesus) has even taught that we are the church and it is our body where the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) dwells.

    Those who have ears to hear, let them hear 🙂 Shalom! ❤

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  8. I avoided Church for a long time due to the “mechanized” feeling associated with going and realized that I felt God more often outside of a Church then in a Church. But, have come to realize that the Church is a community, a place to teach and to reach out and to organize. But, I have to agree with the reasons you stated for not going to Church. If you come only to think of what it will give you and not what you can give, then you will be missing something important.

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  9. You are right people attend church for so many diffrent reasons, last week i heard a lady say she started at her particular church (not mine) that it was because she liked the choral music but later she came to believe. But you know, i really know that i am in church, when looking into the eyes of some on an Easter Day morning the joy shining there echoes the Hallelujah in my heart, He us risen, and eye to eye we see the Lord restoring his city…..

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  10. Interesting insights. Although I wonder whether all 3 of the items you have listed are also part of our communal growth as believers. An individualized ‘me and Jesus’ reading of the new Testament is a fairly new and Western framework for interpreting discipleship. I agree that shopping for church to fill my needs as a commercial enterprise is wrong, but the question still remains: What part does an external body play in my personal growth as a Christian?
    I do like your conclusion, but wonder if the 3 reasons to not go to church are actually part of what we will always seek in corporate gathering.
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I agree with Realationaleric. Some good thoughts here, but I thought the post came across too individualistic and dismissed some legit reasons for church community (such as acceptance…”accept one another”).

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  11. This is awesome. Recently heard a sermon on how we shouldn’t go to church not EXPECTING the Lord to move and meet us there. It is not a routine. So many times we gather in the church and we worship and talk about God but he is standing on the outside of the doors, knocking. We have to let him in and have confidence that His Spirit is going to do work.

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      1. Veronica, perhaps a suggestion. Are you getting post e mails, or comment emails? In your reader, make sure you have comment emails unchecked, or you will get one anytime anyone comments. Just a thought.

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  12. Nice post Chris. I actual steer clear of religions in general, but I respect your faith and your thoughts.

    I personally advocate the “home church” concept – aka the prayer closet – but there is a lot to be said for community gatherings. However, there does seem to be a robotic tendency for most people to attend.

    Why don’t the church-goers spend every Sunday helping people in need, and then get together quarterly for a potluck dinner? Seems like a better use of time, and you get to sleep in on Sundays (or spend some extra time in the prayer closet.)

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    1. That is my exact model I had in mind when I was reading this blog. Kudos to you if you can do this kind of thing. In college, it’s pretty easy to do something like this. Tell me how it goes for you if you actually implement your suggestion.

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  13. HI Chris,
    Such a thought-provoking post. Going to Church seems to be such a complicated thing for so many people but I think it is worth wrestling with the questions, the culture-clashes, the annoying people you disagree with to gain a deeper and more complex faith and not just be a mass of clones pumped out by some Christian making factory.
    I go to the most beautiful, spiritually encouraging and nurturing Church and yet the night service has low numbers and we only attend when we are there on holidays, which is about once a month. Even still, I consider this Church a Church home. Our talk about numbers has prompted me to think about the need to take God and Jesus out of the Church building for people to get to know him better. I live in Australia and there really isn’t the kind of Church culture here that you get in the States. We have some big Churches like Hillsong but we also have an even larger population who has never been to Church and it is growing.
    Anyway, thanks again for your great post & God Bless,
    Rowena

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