Why I force myself to go to church

What does your Sunday look like? Sometimes it is our one day with nothing at all happening. Nothing. So, I am not going to lie. We sleep in … meaning Larson and I sleep in… and the early birds (Ron and Ella) get up and do their favorite things. Ron goes on a run and pours some coffee and gets organized in his office. The dude loves pens, files and lists. Ella snuggles up on the couch with an iPad and probably some sort of Disney show.

And if we aren’t careful – we can very quickly talk ourselves out of getting to church. Because away from church in the comfort of our home and family and routine – we can get really comfortable. And “online” church has become a thing and convenient (which I so appreciate when kids are sick, etc). This isn’t a legalistic post – on why all us most go to church in order to get into heaven or be a good Christian. So hang with me..

It’s just a confession that I’m literally drawn to the couch – but I’m falling in love again with the local church.

I am learning that when I get off the couch and get into the doors of my church – I rediscover my love for God. For my faith. For the local church. For why it matters.

I am reminded why I want my kids to know church is what we do as a family. Not because they get a sticker for showing up – but because it’s what happens in and around the building that impacts our lives. It’s the relationships. It’s the worship. It’s the truth that is shared in fresh new ways. It’s the opportunity to serve and be blessed by that. It’s seeing God work all around. It’s getting chill bumps when you can literally feel hundreds of people praising God at the same time. It’s taking communion together and dropping your hard shell and grudge toward your husband and reaching over and grabbing his hand. It’s seeing a person walk into the church for the first time and knowing you were supposed to be that family to welcome them.

There is an enemy that shouldn’t get much play in this post – but don’t ever forget that he doesn’t want your family growing in a relationship with God. He definitely doesn’t want you bringing others closer to Jesus Christ himself. So if you’re feeling resistance to getting to church. Pay attention to that and fight past it.

Have you been burned by a Christian? Annoyed by one? Lied to by one? Offended by a church? Or misled? I could go on and on. Humans are involved and they are flawed. But for my experience, my positive experience in the Christian community has FAR outweighed the negative ones. Just because you have one weird aunt – doesn’t mean you disown yourselves from the entire family. (Note: Based on a comment I received – I do want to be sensitive to those that have been deeply wounded by the church. This can be a difficult task to come back through the doors.)

I have been blown away by the church and its people – especially when I got up close and engaged. And for SURE when I stopped expecting so much FOR ME and started showing up FOR OTHERS. When I took the time to open up my heart and step in without a critical eye and heart – but with a soul ready to transform. When I checked my own judgy heart at the door and was ready to just work on myself – I started to see the beauty all around. I started walking in expectant every time ready to hear from God in a very personal way.

Churches aren’t perfect, but if managed right-  they should be serving a God who is perfect and pointing everyone and everything to Him. If you give the local church another chance – it might surprise you. Keep shopping. And pray big about it. I wasn’t settled in Dallas in our first couple of churches (not because they were wrong or bad) and kept looking and praying. And I literally feel like we found our home at Compass in Colleyville. We made our focus about what’s best for our kids in this season of their life (did they have programs and size best for their age/stage?) and then really wanted one that we felt we could partner with and serve – could understand their mission and jump on board financially and with our time.

I’m so thankful he’s drawn me back home to the local church. And how MUCH there is there for me and my family. We don’t really need to reinvent and create so many programs. We can spend more time diving into what’s already going on right in our community. Just two miles down the road from my house is a building full of broken people that love Jesus – devoted to serving a community of more broken people. I’m in for that.

Thankful for so many families and pastors that poured their life into the church. So families like mine can know God in a very very real way.

PS – I’m back on the couch in my stretch pants and warm blanket. So glad I fought past my laziness to encounter God today. I just truly love him so much and want more.

 

Anyone else relate? And find themselves on the couch on Sundays – then get there and realize it’s awesome?

Or are you struggling to find a church home right now?

 

(no. that is not my church. image found. isn’t it cute? 🙂

Comments

  1. well you are all up in my lane today – I am so struggling with going to church right now. the busyness of life is outweighing what I know is the right thing to do. my soul misses the church – it’s my mind, some negative experiences and my daughter not feeling comfortable that makes it easy for me to say not today! but I must break it and fast! thanx for sharing your heart and for letting me know I am not alone. there is someplace out there just for me!

  2. Oh man, I have been struggling. 3 years ago we left a church we loved because the mission had changed and we were not going in the same direction as a family. We have mourned the loss of so many people we loved and were loved on. Because since we decided not to attend anymore, those friends disappeared as well. We decided to make our kids needs the focus in finding a new church home. We found one and love the mission – but the church is full of people and people are imperfect. This church is in the midst of struggles that plague so many churches at the moment. Old versus new, finding new ways to reach people. Focusing on communities in need versus ministering to current believers. Its tough. It makes me want to throw my hands up in frustration and really try to figure out why we attend a church anyway when we can serve our community with or without. But you make good points here. And I do want church to be a family affair. I want to keep searching and praying so I can confidently have a good reason why I go to church. Thanks, Courtney!

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