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.