Don’t give up on church!

“Hypocrites!  They’re all hypocrites!  The work involved in being part of church is just too much, it’s not worth it to me!”

I’ve easily heard this said a hundred times by what I call de-churched Christians.  Content to read their Bible at home, and maybe watch a service on YouTube now and again, the de-churched have given up on meeting with other believers in Jesus.  It’s just too hard.  Coupled with a busy life and a consumeristic society, it becomes easier and easier to quit church and go the way of the lone ranger.

It’s hard to get to church.  If it’s your only day off, why not use that day for yourself?  The drive to attend a church service seems to be a petri dish for marital conflict.  Try getting a few toddlers up and ready to go to arrive on time – good luck with that.

But in the midst of these things, church is still important!  The Bible places a very high value on assembly.  It’s a privilege to even be able to meet in public and celebrate our faith.  And we are encouraged in the book of Hebrews not to forsake assembling together, but to keep meeting and celebrating hope, encouraging one another in this dark age.

In my years serving as a pastor I see a few common reasons people quit church.  Some don’t see any benefit from being part of a church.  Others are reeling from past church abuse.  And many are just lazy.

Those folks who see no gain from being in church need to consider their faith!  To be a Christian, a real Christian, is to be immersed in the presence of other followers of Jesus.  Simply put, the most telling fruit of true faith is worked out with other humans.  If you’re not around others, you can’t prove your faith.

How can you love and forgive the person next to you if there is no person next to you?  How can you be kind and gentle with others if there are no others?  How can you give your tithe and offering if there is nowhere to give it?  How can you confess and receive the confession of others of there is nobody around?  To restate, the most basic tenets of our faith, the very proof that it is real, happen in the context of assembly.  No assembly, no place to do the stuff we do.

Another reason people quit church is because of past church abuse.  This is a horrible problem in our time.  But the reality is that this has been a horrible problem for all of church history.  Consider the New Testament church….often I heard people say “I wish it were like it was in the first century church, things would be so much more right and pure!”

What a pipe dream!  Most of the New Testament letters are written to try to address unhealth in the church and encourage the believers in the right direction.  In Paul’s letters we see all sorts of topics addressed: relational abuse, hypocrisy, and legalism, to name a few.  Don’t forget slander, division, and bad doctrine.  Dig deeper and you’ll find gross sexual immorality and people coming to communion drunk!

Beyond these painful realities, it is just plain laziness that keeps many others away from church.  Simply put, a good many lukewarm, narcissistic, and complacent so-called followers don’t see a need for church.  They have a great alibi consisting of every reason they can imagine to neglect assembly, but the truth is that their faith is just fat and lazy.  They have no perceived need, so sleeping in or binging on Netflix becomes the substitute for Christian fellowship, and before long their faith becomes undiscernible because of the cobwebs that have rendered it impotent.

If any of these reasons are keeping you from church, I encourage you the reader to take a risk on church again!  The benefits are worth it.  You will bless others and you find ways to serve and use your gifts.  You will be nourished.  You will build lifelong relationships.  And on and on.

There are plenty of great churches all around.  If you’re reading this and feel a tug on your heart, I challenge you to put on your favorite jeans, grab a Bible, and make your way to a church sometime soon.  Lightning won’t strike as you enter, instead you’ll experience the power and mercy of Jesus as evidenced in his people!

Upcoming Events

We also meet every Sunday at 10:00 am to worship God together, and throughout the week in home groups all over the city. Please click the link to the left for a complete schedule of home groups.

Our Community

At VCC, we believe that church is not a function: it is a family. Our religion is only as alive as we are, the people that pursue it. So, rather than acting as an organization, we want to act as an organism. We have no time for casual contacts and meaningless formalities. We are a fellowship on an adventure towards the stuff of God. Church means worshipping God together, studying the Bible together, fixing our cars together, hiking together, eating together, playing together, praying together... enjoying the warmth of the Holy Spirit in all parts of our lives together, not just in appointed meeting times.