We can blame it on the aftermath of the pandemic, the busyness of modern life, or the widely-held belief that "churches are full of hypocrites," but none of these three reasons are the one that I most often hear from people who do not currently attend church services. What I have heard from most people as being the thing that prevents them from attending worship services is the fear that people will judge them or not accept them.
I am not denying that some people are still a little leery of being in a crowded room after COVID. Nor am I denying that our lives are incredibly busy nowadays. We all have those days when we feel that we simply cannot take on "one more commitment." And yes, some church people are hypocritical -- but to be fair, people who pretend to be "perfect" exist in every part of our society.
But the church should be the last place you should find someone pretending to be perfect, because Jesus said that no one is perfect "except God." (Mark 10:18) So perhaps we might also consider our own wrong-headed ideas we might hold about having to "be perfect" in order to go to church. I know that this kept me from going to church for many years. As a young person, I got the wrong idea that God only wanted "perfect" people. I would try to be "perfect," but it was often a struggle just to be "good." Because I always missed the mark, I convinced myself that God couldn't possibly want someone like me -- imperfect. When I was in my late twenties, I sat down and read "Romans" chapter eight, and guess what I learned? No one is perfect. We all struggle! That's why God sent Jesus to save us and the Holy Spirit to help us! Hallelujah!
If you have been thinking about going to church, but haven't yet got up your nerve, I invite you to attend our Fifth Sunday Breakfast Church this Sunday, July 30th, at 9 a.m. in our Fellowship Hall. This is a special and very informal type of worship service where we share a meal while worshiping together at the same time. Just come in and we'll find a seat for you, and any members of your family and friends you want to bring with you. No need to worry about being judged, because we are a very friendly and welcoming group of people and we'd love to have you join us! (BONUS: We're good cooks, too!) We hope to see you there!
"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."Romans :1-2