Wednesday, January 26, 2011

POUR YOUR HEART OUT: NOT GOING TO CHURCH . . .



Okay, for those of you that go to church every Sunday and think that it's the most important thing in the world, then you're not going to like this post very much.  Because I DON'T go to church every Sunday.  As a matter of fact, I very rarely go.  I used to go.  All the time.  I was raised to go every. single. Sunday.  No matter what.  And even when I was in college, I still continued to go almost every Sunday.  I went to the Newman Center at EKU and we had an AMAZING Priest there.  He made us all want to go to church.  He always had something important to say.  And he always made US feel special and important.

But then I graduated.  And I did go for awhile.  But now I very rarely go.   And honestly, I'm okay with that.  I know I may not go to church every Sunday, but I don't think that makes me a bad person.  I still love my family.  I take care of my kids.  I try to be there for my friends and family when they need me.  I respect people.  I care about people.  I listen to people.  I BELIEVE in God.  I KNOW He's there, and I pray to Him, and I talk to Him when I need to.  And I'm teaching my kids that there is a God, and even though we can't see Him, He is always there for us.  I tell them every day that they're the greatest gift God ever gave me.  But I don't go to church.  

Maybe you think that makes me a bad person.  And you're entitled to your opinion.  But *I* don't think that makes me a bad person.  I know A LOT of people that go to church every Sunday, and I wouldn't want them around my kids.  I know people that think going to church on Sundays makes them better than everyone else.  They think going to church means they can do whatever they want during the week. But they're not really listening when they're there.  They're just THERE so they can say they go.  But during the week, they talk bad about people.  They don't really care about people.  They don't care about others feelings.  They're disrespectful.  They don't listen to the needs of those around them.  But they go to church on Sunday.  So they're a better person than me.

Now don't get me wrong, I know A LOT of people that go to church every Sunday and they're AMAZING people.  My parents for example.  They go to church every Sunday.  They belong to a prayer group that meets twice a month.  My mom belongs to another one that meets once a month.  They're always there to help my brother and I, whatever we need.  When my grandmother was sick, my parents had her live with them for awhile before she went into the nursing home.  And my mom took care of her every day.  When they had friends and family that needed a place to stay when they were in between moves, they opened their home to them.  When their nieces needed help, they helped them.  Because that's what God would have wanted.  So yeah, they go to church and they live the Christian lifestyle every day.  Do they mess up?  Sure they do.  They're human.  But they have good hearts.  They try to do the best they can.  And NOT just during the one hour of church on Sunday.

But I also know a lot of people that DON'T go to church every Sunday and I still think they're amazing role models for my kids.  And I would love for them to spend as much time with them as possible.  My brother for example.  He doesn't go to church on Sundays.  Hasn't for a long time.  But you'll be hard pressed to find a kinder, gentler, more giving person than him.  Yeah, he doesn't go to church on Sundays, but he shows what it means to be a Christian EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Just ask the girls he's coached for years and years.  He definitely doesn't do it for the money!  He does it because he loves his job and he loves working with kids and he loves teaching them how to be better ball players.  And they LOVE him.  You can't go anywhere with him without running into a former player or a former player's parent.  And some of his closest friends?  Parents of the girls' he's coached over the years.  He doesn't coach them anymore, hasn't for years, but the parents know what a good person he is and they enjoy spending time with him.   But he doesn't go to church.  So if you think someone that doesn't go to church is a bad person, then you'd never get to know him.  And that's YOUR loss. 

7 comments:

Mrs. Wayne said...

You don't have to go to church to be a Christian. God isn't in a building. Some people find comfort in attending to be with other like-minded people. Personally, I got tired of the judgmental attitudes long ago...so I say my prayers at home.

Shell said...

I don't think that makes you a bad person. Not any more than going to church makes someone a good person. It doesn't work like that.

I don't go every week- we go alot, but sometimes we are feeling lazy or have a sick child. But, we go b/c we want to, b/c we want to learn more about God and have the fellowship of other Christians, not b/c I think it makes me a better person.

Amy said...

Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. I rarely make it to church. I've met too many hypocrites that think just because they go to church, that makes them a Christian. They think they have the right to judge others and/or think they're better than others. And then I have some Christian friends that walk the walk. God isn't in a building - he's in our hearts.

Adrienne said...

Church is the icing on your relationship with God. Not the relationship itself. Sometimes we can get caught up in the routine and forget about the relationship. I enjoy church, and it's something I look forward to. I think it's important to gather together in fellowship with other beleivers, but it certainly doesn't measure you as a person! It doesn't make you a bad person at all! I don't think you can measure your faith by attendance. Thanks for coming by today, and leaving such a sweet comment!

Mothers' Hideaway said...

I stopped going to church a long time ago. I decided that church didn't make me the person I am and I didn't like the judgment that was being cast upon everyone else. So...I don't go and have really stepped away from organized religion. You're not a bad person at all!

Sarah said...

I love going to church. That being said we go through spurts where we don't go to church. I want that to change, I would like us to go to church every Sunday, not because I think it makes me a better Christian but because I like the fellowship. I love going to worship and I love hearing a message from our pastor that gives me goose bumps, that makes me feel like God is talking directly to me. I don't think you have to go to church to have a good relationship with God. God is in our hearts and as long as we're following His Word then I don't think it matters where or how you worship and study him.

colonel said...

You know going to church is important to Dad & me. I wouldn't give up one of your good qualities, for you to go to church. I have pretty much lived my life the way I wanted, and you are entitled to do the same.