Why Do People Skip Church?

If you’re looking for an excuse this Sunday, the White Horse Inn can help you out, along with some interesting analysis:

…27% in the survey cite “Tired/Out Late.”  What shall we make of this?  Well, rather than suggest more folk ought to stay home and get to bed earlier, let me suggest that more Christians go out into the heart of Saturday night.

Let me here share a personal story:

In the mid-80’s, as a bachelor living in Sacramento, California, I had fallen into a period where I had ceased attending church altogether—for well over a year.  If I woke up before noon, it was only to watch the NFL while still under the sheets.  One weekend a friend was visiting from the Bay Area.  He was a recent convert to Christianity, and he insisted on going to church that Sunday.  So he consulted the Yellow Pages and picked a church for us to attend.  I very much enjoyed the worship, but afterwards gave little thought to returning the next week.  But that very next Saturday, on another typical night out with my work buddies, I happened upon all the elders from the RCUS church where I had attended the previous Sunday.  They too were out to see the Briefcase Blues Band (a Blues Brothers tribute band) at Harry’s Bar & Grill.  There, drinking their Beck’s beers with their wives, the elders spotted me and invited my buddies and me to join them.  Long story short: I attended that local church every Sunday thereafter, at first just the morning worship service, but soon the study hour as well, then Sunday evening worship too, and eventually I became a communicant member (of the first church I ever committed to joining).

May I dare suggest to local churches that your future Sunday morning is to be found on Saturday night?

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  1. Indeed! I was at a diocese-wide church young adult retreat recently that a few non-church-attenders also came to, and one mentioned how much it meant to be in a group of churchgoing Christian young adults who could in the same hour say night prayers together and then sit around drinking and swearing and “being real” with each other. Of course, we chuckled at the drinking-and-swearing bit, but it was an honest and earnest sentiment.

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