Some of you have spotted a weakness in my book How to Cope with the Church.

One question it does not answer is: “Why bother?”

What’s wrong with being a Christian and not going to Church?  

I also failed to offer any advice to anyone who has chosen, rightly or wrongly, to live a church-free Christian life.  I will give both these questions the full answers they deserve in my next book or possibly in an e-zine article.  Or both?  Until then here are a few points to ponder.

What about me?

Before we start pondering, I want you to know that I had a struggle to get from believing in God to going to Church.  I remember some very unhappy experiences.  I am not a naturally religious person.  I am wondering how many of my bad experiences to share in my next book.  I will need to swat up on the laws of libel.

So now here’s what to ponder.

Firstly, ask yourself why you do not go to Church.

  1. Habit?  Is it time to rethink?
  2. Practical issues?  Family, work, transport, disability?  Have you really looked at the options?  For some people these are real issues, as I do know, whilst for others they are excuses.
  3. Emotional or psychological issues?  Previous bad experiences, negative connotations, unidentified fears?  Do these things need dealing with anyway, whether you end up in Church or not?

Secondly, think about what you may be missing.

  • Teaching.  You can get that from books or the Internet.  Are you doing so?
  • Worship.  You can listen to recordings of religious music.  Is that the same as participating?
  • Interaction with other Christians.  Do you want it?  Do you need it? Perhaps you do not realise how that helps you grow spiritually.  Even if you do not get on with some of these others?  Especially them.

Thirdly, ask what God wants.  Oops!  That should have come first.

  •  Jesus never went to Church but he did go to the synagogue and the Temple.  He did tell his disciples to work together.
  • He also established the practice of sharing bread and wine.
  • There are many ways of obeying him in these things.  You do not have to follow the patterns of the organised churches.  Try a disorganised one if you like.

I will write soon about how to survive without going to Church if that is what you decide.  You could find some clues above.

No!  Not “up there”. I mean in the middle of this blog.

Finally, above all, remember that, unlikely as it may seem, God is on your side: he wants you to make it in the Christian life.  He’s helped me find a way.  He can help you, if you want.