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Maybe You Hate Church

Maybe you hate church.

Perhaps you were made to go to church as a child.  You had to put on stiff shoes and uncomfortable clothes.  Sunday school was fine if you had the right teacher, but, man if you didn’t, you were out of luck.  Then you had to go to the service and sing songs you didn’t understand.  You had to sit quietly while the preacher preached  for what seemed forever until you were finally freed to go home and eat fried chicken legs.

It was all totally different from the one thing I loved about God and Jesus and all the churchy stuff that I really liked.  What I loved was the Children’s Illustrated Bible Stories book that I had received one year for Christmas.

In that book I learned about Adam and Eve.  I learned to read at a very early age and I was content for hours to lay (lie?) in the floor and read about all of these Biblical heroes.  Sure, I know now that it wasn’t exactly Biblical text or anything, but, wow, I loved those stories.

Somehow when I went to church everything I learned became this boring mess of stuff that I didn’t’ quite understand.  So, I would do anything that I could to get out of it.  I secretly longed for not having to go.  I rejoiced on those few Sundays that, for reason unbeknownst to me, my parents decided to stay home.

So began my love-hate relationship with going to church.  I was told that I had to go, that I needed to go, but I couldn’t stand it.  Then something happened.

I came to know Christ.  I saw the world through new eyes.  I saw church through new eyes.  And guess what I saw?

An imperfect mess.  I saw glimpses here and there of this exciting wild Bride of Christ trying to burst forth and run to her Bridegroom.  Then some well-meaning souls, and some not so well-meaning, would  try to dress her up like a cheap imitation, one that they had formed from years and years of listening and learning from others.  Too often I felt like what Steve Taylor describes in his song I Want To Be A Clone.  I saw too many taking the most exciting news possible and boiling down into the most boring hodge-podge of a way to live.


Until I finally landed in a church that isn’t pretending.  One that isn’t playing games.  A congregation that doesn’t want to be or produce clones.  One that wants the spotlight to be on her Husband, the One who is coming to get her one day.

Maybe you hate church.  What do I say?  Don’t give up.  Don’t ever give up.  Be the Church within that church.  Be excited for the King.  Love Him.  If the church you’re in doesn’t like it, be patient.  Don’t just leave it.  But if you get to the end of your rope and feel like you have no choice, find a new one.  One that really is being the Church.  They’re out there.

You won’t hate church anymore.  You’ll love it.

Do you hate church?  Or do you love the Church?


  1. September 4, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Good post Larry. Speaking from a pastor’s view, there have been times serving a church has been a chore. A real chore. But it has been good to finally be at a place where I am appreciated and loved and the people seem eager to learn. You are right…never give up.

  2. September 4, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Loaded question at the end, my good man. You say “hate church, or love THE church”. Believers understand what you’re getting at. I hate church AND love THE church because I understand the difference. I just don’t know what building THE church congregates in, and do not believe that they will be one congregated group until the rapture. The other 98% of folks will be left in those buildings.

    • September 5, 2013 at 6:23 am

      Roscoe, I definitely believe that many church members are not part of the Church and will be shocked to find that out one day.

  3. September 4, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I love church! I’ve been blessed with being a part of some amazing churches! Loved this post. Great challenge to be the church from within.

    • September 5, 2013 at 6:24 am

      I love church too, Rob, I just hate churchy stuff sometimes.

  4. Ricky Anderson
    September 4, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Wonderful post, Larry.

  5. September 4, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    I love the Church. And good words.

  6. September 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I was reminded a few weeks ago in church while listening to the pastor deliver a message on the Good Samaritan that my desire is to be the church I want the church would be. It’s easy to get frustrated when we get sidetracked and turn it into something else.

  1. September 7, 2013 at 12:12 am
  2. May 23, 2014 at 1:01 am

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