8 ways to stop going to church without anyone noticing

Image: 8 ways to stop going to church without anyone noticing

Tried and tested tips to get your Sundays back for good.

By themselves, these following 8 tips aren't always effective. But put them together, and before you know it, you’ve slipped out of the door and will never have to go to church again. The best thing is that each step is so soft and subtle that no one, not even you or your parents, will have noticed or stopped to challenge you. Here we go:

1. Get really involved in something else

Make sure it’s something harmless like a sports team, school play or a job. Ensure it’s not obviously bad, but rather something that parents and friends may even encourage you to be doing. To really hide this, a good tip is to talk about how skipping church could give you an opportunity to tell others about Jesus.

2. Only go to church every other week 

With your new busy schedule, only go to church every other week, so that the talks don’t make sense and the people there don’t have the chance to become your friends.

3. Describe everything as boring 

Your irregularity at church makes the talks confusing, so just call them boring. Then repeat with the songs, prayers, notices and anything else that happens at church. Definitely don’t think it’s your fault that you find it boring.

4. Don’t serve 

There are probably many ways you can help out at church. But make sure you don’t commit to stacking chairs, doing the PowerPoint or sound, welcoming at the door etc. If you served, you’d probably love the place and people more, and that would undo all the good work you’ve done so far.

5. Find a problem with something/someone

There are many things wrong with your church and being a Christian can be tough. So pick something not central to the faith and choose to find a problem with that. Good options to take issue with are:

  • one of the pastors
  • the other people your age
  • a joke someone said upfront
  • a minor piece of teaching you don't like 

Hint: Really take this problem to heart, using it to refute the rest of what Jesus is about. Hopefully you'll eventually be able to drown out that voice inside asking you 'why are you giving up church over such a minor issue?".

6. Date a non-Christian

Now that you’re not committed to church, and you’ve found an excuse to not really engage with the truth, this is the real winner. Find someone that is engaged in whatever you chose to do for Point 1, and start dating them. Tell yourself these important half-truths: “The Bible never says clearly not to date a non-Christian, you can use it as evangelism and I’m sure we’ll stay pure.” With those lines in your mind you can swiftly get rid of any other Christians that show any concern.

7. Take a break from Church

If you had gone straight to this point, it’d be really obvious that you had stopped going. But with Points 1-6 slowly and subtly in play, it will be as easy as falling asleep in Maths class. Tell people you need to focus on other things right now. Tell others that you need to find yourself before you find God – it will sound really deep and some people will understand. Make sure you reassure them that you’ll come back later, you’re just taking a breath for a while.

8. Promise to come back when life is simpler 

Life is complicated right now – surely it will be easier later in life. Promise to come back when you’re at uni/have a job/are married/have kids/own a house/retire. So long as you keep telling yourself you’ll come back later, you’ll never have to face up to the fact that you’re no longer part of the church.

If you've made it all the way through Point 8, then you've done it! You’ve left church without anyone noticing. Not even you.

Of course, your other option is to take the Bible’s warning seriously. “Do not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25).

The choice is yours.

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Comments (8)

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  • user

    Tim

    Love this. Thanks Ed

  • user

    Samuel

    I love this article and yet at the same time find it incredibly sad. Because it’s so true! I’ve seen every single one of them happen to people at some stage. So important to be aware of them when they start to happen in others, and what’s more confronting, in ourselves. 

  • user

    Ruth

    Is this literally a joke? Why would this article be posted? This is a terrible article… sorry to say. Don’t you want people to start going to church not.. NOT going to church?

    • user

      Fervr

      Hi Ruth - this is an article about what NOT to do! Have a look at the last sentence… that’s what we hope people will do :-)

  • user

    Melissa

    I am super disappointed that you guys posted this. I love this page and I’m constantly using it to know more and more about my religion and the fact that there is an article which helps teenagers stop going to church it’s just sad. We have enough trouble going and having to cope with all the judging from everyone else and we could just go and never come back but we don’t because we know its the right way but if you encourage us to leave church it is an open door for confused teenagers to leave and you guys are telling them how. 

    • user

      Fervr

      Hi Melissa - thanks for the comment.

      This article is not actually about how to leave church - in fact, it’s the opposite. We really want people to stay in church!!

      This article is a list of things to avoid doing. It’s an observation on what sometimes gets in the way of people staying at church. It’s a ‘what not to do’ list.

      Have a look at the end of the article - what we really want is for people to take the warning from Hebrews 10: 25 seriously - “Do not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

      Thanks for your concern, but rest assured, we don’t want anyone to leave their church, and would never encourage it! 

      Have another read of the article with that in mind.

      We hope the article will help people see the warning signs in themselves or their friends at church, so we can encourage each other not to leave, but to continue meeting together.

  • user

    Benjamin

    What a horrible article! There are so many bad things about it. The author seems to be making fun of people who have problems in life or problems with people in the church. The author seems more concerned that people are attending church every week than dealing with the issues that make people want to leave church.

    The entire article seems ridiculing.

    Concerning Point #1
    I don’t think anyone, or, at most, very few people, intentionally set out for activities to replace church attendance. Life happens, and people get caught up in it. Yet the author mockingly claims they are intentionally looking for activities to replace church attendance and includes, what seems to be, a mock excuse for becoming involved with activities: It gives the individual opportunity to tell others about Jesus. I think it’s safe to say that almost no one claims that as a reason to participate in activities which replace church attendance.

    Concerning Point #2
    God commands us to assembly together, but how often we must assemble is not laid out in the Bible. We must obey the convictions God gives us. But the author of the article implies that we must assembly every week.

    Concerning Point #3
    The author of the article blames the individual that he finds the “talks” (whatever that means) boring.

    Concerning Point #4
    Again, I think very few people at most are looking for a reason not to be part of church. Yet the author mockingly claims they are. Also, this entire point seems ridiculing. Instead of dealing with the issues that cause people to want to leave church, the author’s “solution” seems to be to serve the church. It seems like the author is saying, “Don’t mention the problems you have with the church, no one cares about them. Just start stacking chairs.”

    Concerning Point #5
    The author calls the individual’s problems with the church “minor issues” and includes, what seems to be, a mock reason to leave church: a joke someone said upfront. I think it’s safe to say that almost no one leaves church over a joke someone said upfront.

    The entire article seems to be ridiculing people’s problems in life and problems in the church.

  • user

    Kevin

    As a long-time pastor/youth pastor, I have to sadly say: this article is right on the money. I’ve seen people do this exact thing time and time again. May we learn from it…