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What To Do If You Are Tired Of Church

Updated on December 27, 2014
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Read Your Bible

Read the Bible for Yourself

When you were younger, did your parents allow a sibling to do your homework for you, then tell you the answers? Why not? Because you would never learn anything. Yet, this is what Christians do every single day! We let some pastor or small group of pastors read the Bible for us, then tell us what it says. No wonder we have a hard time learning anything at "church"! No wonder we have a hard time "connecting with God"!

Read the Bible for yourself. Even as I'm writing this I keep asking myself, "Is it really that simple?" And the answer is always…yes. The Bible is the Creator speaking directly to us. You want to know more about Him? Do you want to feel closer to Him? Don't want to be lead astray? Then listen to what He is saying for yourself.

Read the Bible Chunks at a Time

I know people who insist that they read the Bible every day, and yet it's marvelous how little they know about it. That's because they actually read devotionals. Sorry, folks, reading a couplet of verses and a couple of paragraphs telling you what to glean from them is not Bible reading.

If I told you that I was reading a paperback novel a few paragraphs each day, you would think I was crazy. Why? Reading even a short novel, that slowly, over several months would certainly hamper my understanding of the characters, the plot, and the outcome. How much more with the canon of Scripture? Yet, Christians do this every day, and then wonder why they feel so lost.

Read the Bible chunks at a time. This does not mean you have to spend hours and hours every day pouring over the deep meaning of Scripture. A chapter or two is my preference. How much you read is between you and God. The point is that you will never learn anything by reading the Bible a few verses a day.

Read the Bible without the Influence of Commentary


Let me quote a Scripture verse for you: In fact, James, Peter, and John, who were known as pillars of the church. (Galatians 2:9)

What you see above was given to me as a justification for a pastor's position when I was in grade school. "See, we need 'pillars of the church' among us to help point us to God" the commentary said. But if you read the two verses before this passage you find this:

And the leaders of the church had nothing to add to what I was preaching. (By the way, their reputation as great leaders made no difference to me, for God has no favorites.) (Galatians 2:6)

Commentary can steer our thoughts to erroneous conclusions. I'm not saying that all commentary is bad, but when you start reading commentary, you open yourself up to being duped or maybe confused by what a passage is really saying. As a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit and therefore the ability to understand God as easily as anyone else (yes, even if you've never been to seminary).

I’m writing these things to warn you about those who are trying to lead you down the wrong path. But you have received the Holy Spirit from God. He continues to live in you. So you don’t need anyone to teach you. God’s Spirit teaches you about everything. What he says is true. He doesn’t lie. Remain joined to Christ, just as you have been taught by the Spirit. (1. John 2:26-27)

Read the Bible and try to understand as much as you can before you look to other stinking, rotten sinners like yourself for their commentary.

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Pray

Work on Praying

Let's face it... praying is hard work! If you have ever tried to sit down and pray for 15 or even 10 minutes without getting distracted or having your mind wander, then you know what kind of work it is. When you were little, you most likely (or at least I did) had to be taught to talk to people. Your parents taught you how to look people in the eye and speak clearly. It is the same way with praying. Learning how to focus your thoughts, and sticking with it, is work.

You are not always going to feel "inspired" to pray. When you go to work, even at a job you love, do you feel inspired every time you walk through the door? Even if you are working your dream job, I think most people would say that they do not arrive feeling determined to work, but that does not mean that work is not important. It's the same thing with prayer. Many times you are not going to feel an overwhelming surge of spirituality to pray, but this does not mean it is not important. Many times we may not feel like talking even with someone we love, but we talk with them anyway, because that's what it takes to keep a relationship strong.

Pray Continually

To often we have this image that we need to be on our knees in church, deep in humble prayer, feeling God's glorious presence around us as we make our pleas to Him. While this image is idealistic and popular, from my experience, it hardly ever happens. If this is what I thought I had to do in order to talk to God, I would probably pray only a couple of times a year.

Everyone knows the verse - pray without ceasing, but are we living it out? When God says to talk to Him without ceasing, He means it. He wants us to talk to Him all the time. This means talking to Him in our minds, thanking Him and asking for His guidance with our problems. Do you really want to feel closer to God? Try getting in the habit (obeying what God says) and talking to Him about everything throughout the day, and see how your life changes. It's changed mine.

Meet with Someone

It Only Takes One

"Where two or three people meet together in my name, I am there with them." (Matthew 18:20)

Remember, you only need two people. That means if you can find one other person to meet with, then you have fulfilled the Scriptural command to "Forsake not the gathering of yourselves together…" Find someone you trust and with whom you can discuss spiritual things - it can be a friend or relative - and have a Bible study with them. You might learn a lot and be encouraged way more than if you were at "church". At least try it.

Find the Closest

"Where two or three people meet together in my name, I am there with them." (Matthew 18:20)

Wherever two are gathered…that means you only need one other person besides yourself…hmm…who could that person be… your spouse perhaps? No, no that's ridiculous! You can't have church just with your spouse! Who does that?

When Christ says only two have to be gathered and He will be with them, He means it. Who better to read and pray with than the one with whom you made a lifelong vow?

Family is Best

When I was younger, someone asked my mom where our family went to church. My mom told her that we home church with our family, and the woman flat out told her, "That does not count. You can't meet with just your family".

Just your family? Since when is your family not as important as everyone else in the "church"? Are they not Christian like every one else? I would argue that meeting with your family is the best way to have church. If you are a parent, you have the opportunity to personally teach your children about God (unthinkable, right?). If you are a child, you can learn from people who do not have an ulterior motive for helping you understand what God's Word says, and if you are a young adult, you can learn from your parents as well as bring something to the table that would encourage them. (Isn't this idea is sounding more and more ludicrous all the time?)

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Keep the Focus

Remember to keep the focus on YOUR relationship with God. No amount of church activity can make up for neglecting your relationship with the Creator. Your being "plugged in" to a "church" will not automatically connect you to Christ. The definition of "Christianity" today, is no longer about how you live your life in Christ, instead it's about what "church" you go to, are you "plugged in" enough, or are you giving enough? That is why we tire of "church". We can't focus on our Christianity because "CHURCHianity" clouds our view. We miss seeing the Cross because a church building stands in the way. If you are tired of "church", please try some of the things suggested, then write back and tell me what you think.

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    • dreamtarget profile image

      ALAN BOWMAN 2 years ago from NORWAY

      Hi ASA2141, You put a lot of good work into this which is really good . Personally I know that 2 things have to work together 1) The Word of God ( the Bible ) and 2 ) The Holy Spirit . When both are used together there will be an experience or encounter of Gods spiritual kingdom . One example is the Word teaches us that Jesus blood opens the way into Gods presence . The Holy Spirit manifests the presence ,,,where David says " There is fulness of joy " . Skeptics need our testimonies of God encounters that go beyond little mental questions . skeptics are full of questions . my experience is that I can answer nearly all their questions ..BUT .. they do not need to think of another question but a quality decision when they believe these personal tesimonies of ours are true for their eternal good . Keep writing well :-)

    • Asa2141 profile image
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      Asa Schneidermann 3 years ago from Boise

      Graceinus - I see what you are saying now. I think most people understand the phrase "home church" as any time a group of people (most people assume family and/or a few friends) meet at home or in a park - anywhere except a church building - and read the Scripture and pray together.

      Regarding the last half of your comment: I never thought of it that deep or far, but I think it's true. I understand your username: Grace in Us.

    • profile image

      graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      Asa2141- My comment was not meant to be an argument. It's only been recent (in the past two months or so) that I've heard this term "home church". Which is why I'm not so clear as to what it was suppose to mean.

      To your statement " I'm not sure what you mean by the Church is within us." To answer; in SPIRIT we are the body of Christ in our faith in Christ. Understanding and believing that we are citizens of God's heavenly Kingdom. The Holy Spirit is always within us and who guides us in our study of God's word. Everything we learn in and from God's word through the Holy Spirit becomes what we are as part of the body of Christ. Each true believer collectively becomes part of the Church (the body of Christ in spirit). In other words, where you go, the Church (within you) goes with you as you are part of the body of Christ. If you go the the store, the Church is with you. If you go to the park with your children, the Church, within, goes with you. If you are working at your job, the Church, within, is with you. If you are sitting at home studying God's word, the Church,within, is with you. In other words, WHERE EVER a true believer is, the Church is there too.

      God bless.

    • Asa2141 profile image
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      Asa Schneidermann 3 years ago from Boise

      Graceinus - For the sake of argument, I used the phrase "home church". I think most people would know that means our family had "church" at home(we gathered to read, study and pray). I used the phrase "home church" so I could stick to the topic, even though that really is not the right phrase. I'm not sure what you mean by Church is within us. From what I've read in the Bible, Church is a group of believers as a whole. Church is people.

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Asa2141,

      Many don't want to be content with the minimum that Jesus spoke of in this verse you quoted:

      Where two or three people meet together in my name, I am there with them. - Matthew 18:20

      They want to be a part of something bigger and grander for all to see. They want to be entertained and speak out prayers for all to hear. They want their charitable works to be seen and projected on the big screen. They want to be patted on the back and their names spoken of from the pulpit. They don't want to gather in Jesus' name, but in the name of a building instead. While Jesus is saying come to me, they are saying that you must become a member and pay your tithe first to attain Him.

      The simplicity of reading God's Word for ourselves and allowing Him to gather who He wants us to meet together with by His leading is so simple. It allows Jesus to build His ekklesia without man getting in the way. Those who are part of the order of attending are under religious bondage shackled to man-made traditions and obligations upon their altars of idolatry.

      When Jesus Christ truly sets us free, it is so liberating having the peace of knowing the truth.

      This article is very encouraging and points to that freedom. God Bless.

    • deorganicchurch profile image

      deorganicchurch 3 years ago from Newark, DE

      I think many Christians need to adopt your teaching about reading the Bible for themselves in sufficiently long passages, since a percentage of Christians, I think, mainly use commentaries for their Scripture reading. From the devotionals I have seen, they tend to focus on light, uplifting verses that bring encouragement to your life. While these verses are certainly a blessing, there are many portions of the Scriptures that deal with unpleasant subjects like the wrath and judgment of God. It seems many Christians and churches wish to avoid these passages all together. If all Scripture is inspired of God and profitable for teaching, we should work toward reading the whole canon.

    • profile image

      graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      Asa2141- Allow me to clarify something so that there is no misunderstanding. I do not believe in any man made churches of any kind. My comment earlier was to let you be aware that I fully agree with studying God's word. But with regards to so called "home church" I'm still not sure what that is supposed to mean. Unless it the gathering of immedate family members for study and sharing God's word in one's home. What I believe to be TRUE "Church" is spiritual which is within us as Jesus is the Head of the true "Church". And nothing will change that.

      God bless

    • Asa2141 profile image
      Author

      Asa Schneidermann 3 years ago from Boise

      Thank you, Graceinus. I truly enjoyed writing it. If I did not have people in my life to see true Christianity from false, I might be a lost soul.

    • profile image

      graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      Asa2141- I give you two thumbs up on the article. Personal study of God's word is the only true way of finding truth with the Holy Spirit guiding you. Very good article and I enjoyed reading it.

      God bless