Confession Time: My family sometimes skips church.
We do it on purpose and we are okay with it.
Give me a chance to explain before you write me off as a “Lazy Christian.”
Every once in a while, my little family of three feels the need for a slow morning and time to recharge our hearts. We don’t skip church to sleep in, we have an 11-month-old, so the days of sleeping in are long gone. Often our reasons for staying home stem from our need to spend a slow morning with God and being together as a family. After all, we regularly feel God’s presence and can appreciate his blessings from our couch on a slow Sunday morning. Sometimes we simply crave a morning for “just us,” where we can soak in time together. God is there in that moment, smiling down on our game of family peek-a-boo.
As a kid my family was known to skip church from time to time. It was by no means a regular occurrence and it wasn’t done to simply be lazy and neglect God. We would all skip if one parent was sick, or when we had just arrived home from a trip the night before and sometimes for no particular reason at all. Almost anytime we skipped church my dad would make us hold a “service” of our own in the living room. We would huddle on the couch in our pajamas and my dad would deliver a short message that he could apply to our lives. Then, we would all get the chance to sit down around the table and have breakfast together. Something that never happened on mornings we were rushing to get out the door and be on time to church. Those mornings were some of my fondest memories as a child. God was there in that living room with my family, smiling down on our make-shift church service.
Don’t hear me wrong, church is a wonderful place to be and a great way to grow your faith. I can also get my needed “recharge” from my pew on Sunday, but going to church every Sunday morning does not make you a better or worse Follower of Christ. Die-hard churchgoers may be rolling their eyes by now, but I like the idea of not feeling like going to church is part of some spiritual check-off list. It just simply is not what it’s all about.
My family still goes to church, we are committed to our church, we love our church. In fact, we volunteer regularly and attend activities that are not on Sundays. But we don’t want our children growing up thinking that loving God directly relates to how often you are in your sanctuary on Sundays. We will stress the importance of church and the many blessings it can bring, but it will never be portrayed as a way to win God’s approval or to measure your “level of Christianity.”
So sometimes, you won’t see my family sitting in our row on Sunday morning. We might be at home spending time together just the three of us. But you know what? I’m totally okay with that and I think God is too. He is in our home with us, smiling down on our slow Sunday morning.