Have you stopped going to church and found yourself struggling to get back into the swing? The COVID-19 pandemic forced numerous churches to start meeting online. Some people were excited that they could go to church in their pajamas with no makeup on, drinking coffee on their sofa. However, attending church online isn’t the same as going in person. There could also be someone in your household who didn’t want to go, so you’d skip in-person church and attend online. One of your kids could’ve had the sniffles, so you felt more comfortable with online church. At some point, you find that attending online is no longer meaningful for your family. You realized that you hit pause on going to church, and you need to restart.
Is church attendance necessary?
First, a question: do we have to go to church? And if so, why? The Bible tells us that going to church is necessary. It’s possible to be a Christian and follow Jesus’ ways without going to church, but it can be a lonely and challenging journey.
In his letter to the church in Ephesus, the apostle Paul compared the church to a body with Jesus serving as the head. If you want the body to function properly, it has to do its part to work together. Ephesians 4:16 says, “From Him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Going to church encourages us, and it helps us to uplift others. It also helps us learn how to love and support one another.
Galatians 6:2 tells us, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Attending church is good; it can help you set aside time to worship the Lord and gather with fellow believers so God’s spirit can move through Christ’s body. If you’ve found that you stopped attending church due to the pandemic or any other reason, here are some tips to relight your flame and start going to church again.
Add it to your calendar.
This step may seem silly and redundant; we all know church happens on Sunday. However, adding church to your calendar can make it feel like more of a priority. Whether you take the old school approach and write it on your calendar or the new school method and add it to your smartphone, you’ll be sure not to forget. Show up on time or early, dress the part, stay engaged, and try not to leave early if you can help it. You won’t regret your decision.
Change your wardrobe.
Perhaps you’ve always felt the need to dress up for church because that’s what your family did when you were younger. Still, it may be time to consider a different clothing style. If your church has a more relaxed style, try it out and see how you feel. You could also wear a color that you don’t typically wear; that could be your “special church color” when it’s time to worship. On the other hand, if you’ve always dressed casually at church, try dressing up and see how that makes you feel. You could even try styling your hair differently. Stepping out of your comfort zone can reignite your passion.
Change your worship time.
If your church has multiple worship slots, test out going to either an earlier or later service than you usually would. For example, if you’ve always been an 11 a.m. worship goer, going to a 9 a.m. service may allow you to go to church and have coffee with the pastor, attend a Sunday school class, or go to lunch after service.
Make Sunday a special day.
Try your best not to go to church and go straight home. Making a day out of going to church may help you appreciate it more. Exodus 20:8-11 urged the Israelites to remember the sabbath day by keeping it holy. This scripture details how God created the heavens and earth, but even He rested on the seventh day, so you should too. No one should work, from your children, your servants, not even your animals.
This sentiment doesn’t only apply to God’s people in the Old Testament; taking a sabbath day is also vital in today’s times. You could to lunch after church or pack a picnic and go to the park. You could even take a walk through the park and try to relive the message from the service. Sundays should be your special time for you, God, and your loved ones.
Work at your church.
Consider getting a job at your church. It doesn’t have to be a full-time job, but something like volunteering. By committing to some type of role, you’ll find this role will help get you to church. You could be a greeter, usher, or someone who works with the children. If that doesn’t suit you, you could give yourself a job only you know about; for example, your job is to smile at everyone you contact, speak to a visitor, or say something nice to five people.
Changing your typical routine and trying something different may help you understand the message in a new light or open a new door for worship that you didn’t see coming. However, if you’ve tried these tactics and still don’t feel passionate about going to church, that’s okay too. Worshipping God has nothing to do with the way we feel. Christianity isn’t a belief; instead, it’s a lifeline, a belief, or a way of life. Christianity is based on truth and reason, the truth of God’s Word.
So despite your feelings, try to have faith. Stand firm in the truth over doubts and understand that God is still with you. You may feel disengaged or distant from Him, but He isn’t disengaged or distant from you. He’s always with us and will always love us. He wants us to be in His family and will welcome us with open arms when we’re ready.