Why You DIDN’T Go To Church This Weekend

Ian McClellan   -  

There is a looming temptation in western ‘church’ culture to consume a Sunday Service rather than live out the call to be the church every day.

For decades now, the trends of those who make attending a church service on Sunday a priority have been on a steep decline.

Church Attendance Decline Chart


Why is that? 

Secularization? Sure.

Post-Christian Culture? Absolutely.

COVID-19? It didn’t help.

Yet, at the heart of the question lays a deeper issue. What is keeping people away from corporate gatherings? Sure many factors might play into this, but for many, at least one of the following factors is probably at play.

Are any of these true for you? 


1. People in the church have let you down

Sometimes I have heard people joke that going to church would be a lot easier if there weren’t people involved. True!

If you involve yourself with Christians, you will almost certainly get hurt or let down by them. Unfortunately, there are many screwed-up people in the church, including me.

The more significant issue is that ultimately we have been let down by our own miss aimed expectations. We don’t even realize it, but we expect Sunday morning worship to be the magic moment of the week to fix our lives. We put the pastors and the people within the church on a pedestal, and when they fail us, our expectations are shattered.

We have to remind ourselves that there is only one savior, Jesus Christ, who will never let us down. Jesus is the glue that holds us all together.

 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matt 7:24-27


2. You have forgotten you need others (as much as they need you)

During the early pandemic shutdown, it became clear that I needed to be with other believers after about a week. One thing is for sure; distance does make the heart grow fonder.

We want to think that we can do it all on our own, but it is hard to admit we cannot do it all independently.

While it’s true that people can be our most significant stumbling block, it is also true that they can be our greatest help. Great friends remind us to turn our eyes to Jesus when we are struggling and keep us accountable when we are being stupid.

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.” Galatians 6:1-4

3. You’ve only been a renter, not an owner 

Worship on Sunday is just the tip of the iceberg; there are 167 other hours in the week. It is easy to let our faith be a check box on Sunday morning, and then ‘our life’ is everything that follows.

This does not diminish the importance of corporate worship but does go to say our faith should encompass our entire life. Our work, play, family, friends are all tied up in our faith journey.

Paul said it like this to the Phillippians: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” – Phillippians 1:21-24

Our life should be the church. Giving all that we have and are to Jesus makes all the difference. If you wonder why it’s difficult to drag yourself ‘to church,’ maybe you should first ask how you are ‘being the church.’ 

BE THE CHURCH. To live is Christ; to die is gain.



Join us as we practice BEING THE CHURCH TOGETHER

River Valley Rockford is actively reaching out to our community’s significant needs. We are partnering with David’s Closet to help provide Dignity Bag for the homeless in Rockford.

We are collecting items through Feb.20 and will build/distribute them on the evening of Feb.27.

Sign up to help HERE

Please join us as we love our community with the grace and compassion of Jesus.


If you didn’t get to join us this Sunday, join me anytime for a CHURCH DOOR on YOUTUBE. Here is our service from today: