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hands lifted in worship from Holy in the Daily

I’m Not In the Mood to Go to Church

hands lifted in worship from Holy in the Daily

Some Sundays I’m just not in the mood to go to church. The excuse of worshipping God on a coastal beach sounds so spiritual—much better than, “I don’t want to go to church today.”

The mindset that keeps me trudging through the doors of Father’s House regardless of my mood is my knowledge that church isn’t about me. Church is about the One who left the comfort of his home to hang out with people like me—common, self-centered, sometimes irritating humans.

Church is about ordinary people gathering together to worship the One who left “the glories of heaven” to bring the party to us. In fact, that is just what the word “church” means—the “called out ones”—the ones who gather in groups to worship the One who has called us out of our homes and into his.

So to be the church, in the real sense of the word, I have to go to where the people gather who are headed to his house. It doesn’t matter if we differ on the style in which we worship. It does matter that we worship together—as a group—setting aside our discomfort to focus on the One who really matters.

Going to church means I have to get out of bed, put myself in gear, get my body out the door and into the car, and drive to the gathering place where I will meet other people who have all gone through the same process to get to the gathering place to worship the One called Jesus.

Guess I’d better get ready. It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’.

Do you attend church regularly? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

In Him together, Susan Gaddis

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This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Carolyn

    I love going to church! There are times when the drive doesn’t sound so good …

    I go to church for several reasons …
    *I love to meet with all the people at Father’s House.
    *I love worship.
    *I love praying.
    *It keeps me on track.
    *It keeps me connected.

    *You and all the staff there do an amazing job and I want to be there to enjoy it!

    Carolyn

  2. marcie

    I love going to church! Before I knew Jesus, I was so broken and hurting and desperate for help that I tried just about anything to try to mend my broken soul. Since I met Him I can’t wait to get to church! I get to come together with others who love Him and it’s amazing the healing power that comes with such a gathering!
    I get to worship the One who set me free!
    I get to hear the word of truth that is able to transform me to become the woman He created me to be!
    I LOVE going to church!

  3. Mark Nellesen

    I like going to Church (not always love it) because it helps get me back on track sometimes. It might be like getting my car tuned up so it won’t be missing on one of the pistons & then start firing on all or most of them. It also is good to have others I have a relationship with (the ones who know me) to be able to tell me what is going on behind my back that I can’t see. 🙂 I do not like someone to tell me what is wrong with me, if they never spend any time with me. That is the problem I have with Church & usually tell those people to find someone else to try to control. I now go to Vintage Community & like it a lot. God is always good & He is always in a good mood, especially when we can hear Him clearly. The pastors may not always be right on or in a good mood, but then we can get something else out of Church like hearing a good word of encouragement or just feeling the presence of God through the worship. We are blessed to be in our country & able to worship freely. This is a special territory we live in as well. (The Central Coast) Love to worship the Lord anywhere, but Church is awesome & not to be forsaken.

  4. Susan Gaddis

    Good thoughts from three folks that confirm that gathering together as the church is important for many reasons. Thanks for sharing your perspectives and your values, Mark, Marcie, and Carolyn.

    I know that not everyone feels the same way about going to church–anyone care to share another perspective?

  5. Angela Rayher

    Hi Susan,

    Since finding Father’s House 5 1/2 yrs ago, I have always felt, welcomed, loved, accepted and even cherished at times [by the congregation]. Who wouldn’t want that feeling AT LEAST once a week!

    And now that my husband is attending with me, it’s brought a whole new, beautiful demension to it for me.
    Wild horses can barely keep us away!
    Love, Angela

  6. moira

    …..I go to church because I LOVE singing in the choir, and I LOVE letting my light shine….

    Somebody is bound to need a HUG or a SMILE or an EAR to ‘bend’….and I have found that since Jim died, I have a lot of love to give away.
    I can change the ‘atmosphere’ just by ‘being there’….

    And all the while bringing JOY to God’s heart…..what a deal!!!.

    That’s why I LOVE going to church…..even if I’m ‘not in the mood’…

  7. Carl

    I’d like to say I always enjoy worship. I don’t. Sometimes it is dry and boring, I’m in a rotten mood or my mind is in one of those far off places. I’m in church, but not part of church, even the usual coffee time after.

    Sometimes the people in church have been disagreeable over some small issue they think is big stuff, like whether the pastor should have access to the giving records of the parish. Can s/he effectively lead the church without knowing the stewardship practices of the flock? Does it matter if the pastor has taken three weeks of their four week vacation all at once, staying home one of those weeks? Is it really a big deal if something is double-booked on the church calendar?

    I agree, worship is what we give to God as part of community, not something we receive when it “feels good”. The balance and order of life is something that brings order out of chaos, even the ordinary chaos of our ordinary lives. Being centered once a week on God is not being controlled by God, nor is it less “real” if we don’t “feel right”. Having a life that is structured around a pattern of a weekly sabbath sometimes makes the rest tolerable and survivable.

    The weekly ebb and flow that centers around a regular Sabbath worship is the gift we receive from God, not “good or holy feelings”.

    Sometimes I’d like to stay home. But I can’t. I’m the pastor.

  8. Susan Gaddis

    Great comment, Carl. Love it! I can relate and so can my husband who has pastored the same church for 35 years.

  9. Cathy

    Question (I’m good at questions!)
    Is it right to expect church – the gathering together to worship – to fulfill longings in our souls and spirits?
    Should we go to church just because it is the “right” thing to do?
    What do others do who attend a particular fellowship and leave feeling empty and disappointed?
    Susan, you alone on this site know where we are coming from. I always thought you should be in church. But what do I and others do about the ache inside that is not met?

  10. Susan Gaddis

    Good questons, Cathy, and I don’t have much to answer with, except a few thoughts (Ok, I know–Susan always has an opinion or a thought….)

    Jesus attended temple and established “church” as a gathering together of his people. He respected the old traditions and established new ones. When we gather together as believers, we are doing church. (I know you know this–nothing new here.)

    But, why would Jesus have established apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, etc., if He didn’t expect them to operate within and outside of the “gathering.” Isn’t the church suppose to be the womb of His bride? When it doesn’t operate that way, do we stop going, or do we add ourself to the mix of people and do our little bit to nurture His bride by loving her as He does?

    If we aren’t getting something out of church, perhaps we need to fill our needs in our own journey with the Lord and still gather as the church to fulfull His command of coming together and loving one another (even if we, personally, don’t receive much.) The journey is about “me,” the church is about “others.” Both are important.

    And no, it is not right to expect church to fulfill longings in our souls and spirits–that comes only from the Bridegroom, not the bride.

    If folks leave a particular fellowship feeling empty and disappointed, can they find a church to go and just “be”–receive communion in community and hear the ancient Words of Life read or sung–thereby participating as the bride? Can they attend a different type of fellowship than they have attended in the past? Is it right to totally bail out on church when God has called us to have people in authority over us and to submit to them (pastors, teachers, etc.)? Hard questions, but they need to be asked.

    For me, the bottom line is: Who’s life is it anyway–mine or His. If He says to gather together in His name, then that I will do.

  11. Susan Gaddis

    Humm, just read that last comment/book/tons of words over, and I hope I didn’t come across ungracious. If so, I apologize, Cathy. I do feel that being a part of a community of believers is important, although it may not always look like the church I now pastor. I think Robert Benson’s book, “In Constant Prayer,” gave me a bigger understanding of the importance of community in prayer and in placement–getting my body to a place where I can participate in community, even if all that means is taking communion with others and participating in praying the ancient Words from a prayer book.

  12. Cathy

    Not at all, Susan. When questions are asked, they need to be discussed. I long for something more “fulfilling” than I am finding and question if I need to slap my self up side the head and get over it. I hate even using the work “fulfilling” but there is a longing inside that I so want satisfied. And I do understand and agree that much of what we may want needs to be found in our own journey with God but there has to also be the finding and participating in the community and body that helps me connect with the Presence.
    I haven’t been to The Father’s House for many, many years so you know I am not commenting on anything you and Tom are doing. I just wonder if these questions need to be explored by churches everywhere. And, now, I apologize if I am being a real ……whatever word fits. Thanks for being open to these types of conversations. 🙂

  13. Susan Gaddis

    I believe these are questions being asked by people everywhere. Many are leaving the church and not attending anywhere for many different reasons. (And no, I am not taking your comments as a reflection on Father’s House.) Personally, I can understand some of that, but I’m not sure I would make that choice, simply because of what I believe about being in community–even if the community doesn’t look or feel “right” to me at times. Kinda like marriage–it has it dry spells and “roommate” feel to it at times, but we don’t want to have those feelings for months on end.

    Finding a community that helps a person connect with God is a very personal search and it often takes more time than we would like. Perhaps this is why the house church movement is gaining ground here in the states.

    I still go back to the whole concept of church being bigger than me and, therefore, I would just attend because understanding often comes further down the path. Does that mean that there are periods where a person goes off by themselves like the desert father’s and mothers (and the Celtic Christians) did at times? I believe so. Sometimes solitude is a part of growth, but I don’t think that means rejecting church (which is not what I hear you saying.) There is a difference between rejecting church and not attending church in this idea of solitude as the ancients practiced it. What that does for this conversation, I’m not sure.

  14. Cathy Davis

    Thanks for your openess in discussing this. Kind of a side note.
    I was just reading in a book this morning that the original meaning of the words conversion and/or conversation means an on going change and walking out of faith. I know we both knew that about conversion but I found it very interesting that conversation had the same root. I realize that the words are similar but never put together this aspect of their origin. Kind of cool.
    Have a great 4th weekend.

  15. Susan Gaddis

    I didn’t realize that, Cathy. Way cool. What an interesting thought starter for this week. To have conversion and conversation rooted in progressive change and a faith journey gives a richer meaning to faith discussions. Thanks for sharing that bit of insight with us.

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