Why go to church? What are the pros and what are the cons? Let’s begin with the cons, that is, with reasons why the church is crumbling and little more than a relic surrounded by a graveyard for some.
Let’s be honest.
I take John Pritchard’s clever little book Why Go to Church? in SPCK’s “Little Books of Guidance” series. Pritchard is also the author of Going to Church: A User’s Guide.
His opening is clever because, while humorous, says something true even about some (if not most) pastors:
There’s an old story about a mother who went to wake up her son one Sunday morning. ‘Come on now,’ she said, ‘time to get up and go to church.’ The son moaned loudly. I don’t want to go to church,’ he said. ‘Come on,’ she coaxed soothingly, you know we go to church on Sunday morning.’ ‘Why should I?’ he said. ‘They don’t like me and I don’t like them.’ ‘Well – two reasons,’ said his mother ‘first, you’re 42 years old, and second, you’re the vicar!
I played golf with a pastor once who told me if it weren’t for preaching he’d not go to church. (Mind you, he was referring to his own preaching.) He thought small groups were all one needed. He’s now pastoring in a megachurch and he’s back into the groove of going to the church every blessed week. I sometimes would like to have that golf course conversation with him again.
Many pastors trudge onward but have their moments of wondering why.
Tomorrow is Sunday. Today you can decide not to go or to go. What are your reasons?
Here are Pritchard’s seven reasons for not going to church or, better yet, reasons people give for not going to church. (In our next post will do the Pro side.)
What are yours?
- I don’t believe in God
- The Church is a hierarchical, controlling institution in an age of freedom and choice
- I used to go, but I just don’t see the point
- The services are dire
- The building is cold and forbidding
- They’re not my kind of people
- I don’t understand what’s going on