“I don’t want to go back to church on Sunday mornings.”
I am hearing this from people and pastors alike and it has nothing to do with a fear of exposure to Covid-19.
Can you relate?
These “true confessions” have got me thinking.
Why are we feeling a resistance to returning? It is not universal by any means, but it is not uncommon.
Let’s not let guilt sabotage what we can glean, mine, and learn. Lean in. Ask the question. Ask it out-loud. Let God have His way with your heart. The gifts may surprise you.
Why are we feeling a resistance to returning?
#1 We are tired. We are very tired and have been for a very long time. Many people have had their first taste of Sabbath Rest. It is addictive and life-giving. Designed by God, it is what we were meant to know and enjoy.
#2 We are made for connection with those in our inner circle. Trip-free Sunday’s have allowed carefree family time to sprout and flourish. This is good for the soul on many levels. Relationships blossom when there is time to be together—unhurried, unhindered, and free.
#3 We are made for connections that cultivate transformation. Proverbs 27:17 reminds us that Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Micah 4:1-2 speaks of a mountain top climb that positions us to “walk the talk” (see below). We live in a broken, bleeding world that needs Jesus. We need courageous believers whose hearts are on fire to love, serve, mend, and build bridges in radical, not-of-this-world fashion. We cannot do this in and of ourselves. The journey of learning how to “walk the talk” is best cultivated through discipleship, not education. Our Sunday morning experience is often high on education (this is a good thing), but low on discipleship (this is a missing ingredient). Discipleship takes place when we are face-to-face with others sharing what God was up to in our lives this past week, listening to the stories of others, praying for each other, and giving encouragement to join Jesus on His mission in the week ahead.
#4 Or are we just lazy? For some, the answer is yes. For those who have been sharing their heart with me, the answer is a resounding no. The people asking these questions are people who hunger for the Word and live for God in a way that makes a difference in the lives of others every day.
My friends, this internal wrestling demands some questions, and maybe some answers.
What does this mean? What are we learning?
What are we going to do? What opportunity stands on the threshold?
Will the status quo continue or will change emerge, take shape, and flourish?
We are called to gather, to worship, to work, to rest, to GO, to make disciples. What does face-to-face discipleship look like in, during, or around our worship experiences?
Can we build it in?
I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, questions, joys, laments. If you find yourself or those you love resistant about going back to church, which of the 4 points resonate? Are there other points? I would love to hear from you. Doors are opening for critical conversations. If the time is right, let’s connect.
In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. 2 Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.Micah 1:1-2