Why go to church when there are so many other things we could do with two – three hours of time on Sunday morning; like sleeping, reading the Sunday newspaper, going shopping, or getting together with family and friends?

Since we live such busy lives and there is so much stress in our lives, and our weekend time is limited, why should we spend part of it going to church?

Here are some common excuses people make for not going to church and answers as to why we should.

Excuse: Church is boring, irrelevant and predictable

Answer: Church may be somewhat predictable but so is life. The days of our lives are structured around predictable cycles of work, eating, family and relaxing times. All of which can become boring if we don’t work to make it interesting and enjoyable.

Participating in church on Sunday morning is a time to develop relationships with other Christians, learn about the Bible and what it says to our problems and struggles, as well as to thank God for all his blessings. As the saying goes, “You get out of it what you put in.”

Excuse: Why bother going to church when all they want is our money!?

Answer: Any kind of group, whether it is a service organization, community group or health club, will cost us time and money. It is true, if we don’t get involved in anything, we will have all our time and money for ourselves. But, we will miss friendships and opportunities to be a good influence in the lives of others.

Each of us decides where to spend our time and money. We will either invest it in some good purpose or waste it on the pleasures of the moment. Jesus said, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).

Excuse: Church is unnecessary since private prayer and Bible study can be done with or without others.

Answer: While it is true that prayer and Bible study can be done without other people the Bible instructs us, “let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do” (Hebrews 10:24-25). As human beings, we are influenced and become like the people we associate with. When we get together with other Christians, we learn from each other and encourage each other.

There are three things that contribute to a strong Christian life: personal prayer, Bible study and meeting with fellow believers. Trying to get by with less than three is like trying to sit on a one or two-legged stool. Three legs are needed for good support.

[Adapted by Howard Olver from “Biblical and Practical Reasons to Go to Church” by Warren Mueller]