Excuses and Church Attendance
by Jeff Fuller
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As a preacher of the gospel for over 32 years I think I have heard every excuse anyone can come up with for not attending church. Honestly, I believe some folks dig real deep to come up with some spiritual excuse which will get the preacher off of their back for another week.
These are some of the excuses I have heard:
“I am so tired on Sunday, I have to have my rest.”
“Last Sunday I slept too late, preacher.”
“We had company and we were unable to come.”
“My wife/husband did not wake me up on time.”
“Little Billy was sick.” On this one I did a little investigative work and found out the “Little Billy” they referred to was not their son, because his name was Mike, but it was the goat. Some folks think the preacher is quit dumb.
A friend, who is a pastor in another part of the state, once told me the excuse he heard and it was truly one of the best:
“Preacher, you are not going to believe this. Saturday evening I could not sleep, so I went to the kitchen to make me a pot of coffee and read my Bible. While I was reaching above the stove for the sugar, my big toe got caught in the oven door and it tore the nail right off. I wrapped it and spent the day Sunday soaking it, so I was unable to come to church.”
She continued with, “Preacher I hope you were able to find someone to teach my little children in Sunday School, and someone to play the piano for the worship service.” He did not have the heart to ask her why she had missed the last four weeks of church.
I read this recently:
"Johnny, it's time to get and go to church!"
"Ah, Maw, I don't want to go to church!"
"Johnny, there isn't much time. You've got to get up and go to church!"
"Ah Maw, they don't like me down there."
"Johnny, for the last time, get up and go to church!"
"Ah Maw, give me two good reasons why I have to go to church."
"Number one, you're 52 years old. Number two, you're the pastor!"
I will be the first to remind you that church attendance does not make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage will make you a Ford F-100 4x4 pick-up truck. But I will be the first to tell you that church attendance is vital to the welfare of your spiritual life. The writer of Hebrews said: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some.” (Hebrews 10:25)
An infant requires at least four things: food, fresh air, exercise, and the help of others. This is also true in the spiritual realm. We need food (Bible study), fresh air (praying), exercise (service and witnessing), and help from others (fellowship in a good church). A follower of Christ who neglects any of these four practices cannot expect to be well-rounded and growing in his spiritual life.
This reminds me of a story I heard about a man named Bill. He had never gone to church in his life. No matter how much he was coaxed, he couldn't be persuaded to attend even on a special day such as Christmas or Easter. "When it freezes in June," he would say, "then I will go to church."
One year there was an unusually cold spring, and it stayed that way into June. The first part of the month the temperature dipped to freezing for several nights. Everyone thought about Bill and what he had said. Perhaps this spell of cold weather would finally get him to attend church.
It did! One Sunday, Bill made his first appearance in the church building-while the organ played softly. Six men carried him in! Bill finally made it, but he was lying in a casket instead of sitting in a pew.
Someone named Hess wrote a poem which says; “I love to be with God's people, / To read the Bible and pray, / To sing the songs of salvation, / So I'll go to church today.”
Those who think they don't need church don't think much of the one who founded the church.
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totally agree. I don't see how people do it. My mother tells me I go to church too much, but I don't know what I'd do otherwise. There's just something about HEARING the word of God and being around His people. I'm more closer to the people of God than my own family. So many times I almost gave up or thought I wasn't gonna make it. Then I'd go to bible study on a Monday night and it took one thing the minister said that would keep me going. I thought, "man, what would've happened if I didn't go?" I guess we need to pray for a hunger for God in those that have these excuses.