Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Come to Church. Don't TRY.

The only thing that gets my goat worse than hearing someone say they are “shopping” for a church is to hear them say they will “TRY” to come to church.

What does that mean anyway? Do you “try” to go to work? Do you “try” to go to the beach? Do you “try” to go to the baseball game? No, you don’t. You actually go to the places you want to go to. So instead of saying that you will “try” to come to church, go ahead and admit it, you don't want to come to church.

The word try is a term that has no commitment attached to it. When a person uses the word try in connection with church attendance, they sound disinterested and uncommitted. Either you will come to church or you will not… there is no “try” to it. It’s not like you are having to fight off terrorists or contend with 30-foot tidal waves to make it to church.

Let’s just be honest here. Going to church in the United States in the 21st century is not a difficult thing to do. Most churches have multiple services so you can choose a time that best suits your “get up” schedule. When you get to the church campus, you don’t really even have to think about where to park; there is a parking team that helps you find a spot. From there it’s a short walk to free coffee, pastries, and snacks. You don’t have to worry about handling your kids; church workers who have been screened with background checks do that for you. Ushers will help you find a seat, and a worship guide is provided so that you can keep us with what’s going on. The chairs are plush and comfy, and the room temperature is just right. The worship team will guide you through a number of songs that you can listen to or sing along to – and the music is much better than the half-drunk band that you listened to Saturday night. And then there is the sermon – it’s straight forward, full of deep eternal truth, but communicated in a way you can understand it. Oh wait… THAT’S your REAL PROBLEM. Church is easy enough, until it comes to hearing God’s Word. You don’t like being challenged about sin or the way you are living your life. You don’t relish the idea of having to live a surrendered life. You don’t like God’s Word intruding into your self-willed life. Now I understand why you “try” to come to church… and rarely do.

Okay. Now that we are on the same page, let’s stop using the phrase “I’ll try to come to church.” Just be honest and say, “I won’t be at church because I would rather sleep in every Sunday and live by my own rules. I don’t want to live for God right now. But one day when my life and my family are going down the toilet, you will see me at church. I won't try. I'll be there.”

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