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5 Signs You’ve Made Church a Chore

Vivian Bricker

Contributing Writer
Published: May 25, 2022
5 Signs You’ve Made Church a Chore

Most believers go to church each week on Sunday morning, and some churches hold a Wednesday night service too. Often, going to church once or twice a week can seem like a chore or another item we have to check off our “to-do” list. It is a dangerous business when we have made church monotonous. Check out five scary signs you’ve made church a chore:

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Evening-T

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1. You Don't Look Forward to Going to Church 

A number one sign that you’ve made church a chore is you don’t look forward to attending service on Sunday morning, Wednesday night, or any other day a special event is hosted. If attending church feels draining, like just one more thing you have to get through, it is a good sign that you need to change your perspective on church and what it means to gather at God's house. 

Remember, going to church each Sunday is a great honor and privilege. In many places throughout the world today, believers cannot meet for church because of mass persecution. In places such as Afghanistan, North Korea, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran, and India, it is extremely dangerous for Christians to exist, much less go to church or share their faith. By owning a Bible, talking about Christ, or meeting, these believers face being imprisoned or put to death. 

It is a great privilege to be able to go to church, and we should not only recognize but embody the blessing of this truth. Church is something we should look forward to each week because it is a time of worship, a time to hear God speak through a sermon, and a time to fellowship with other believers. If you don’t look forward to going to church, try getting more involved with the worship, take a journal to write down sermon notes, or sit with some different people at church. Change the way you approach attendance. See if that breaks up the monotonous feeling. 

Church is a wonderful event each week, and we should look forward to going to the house of the Lord. 

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Embarrassed woman hiding her face

2. You Feel God Would Be Upset With You If You Didn’t Go

A second serious sign you have turned church attendance into a chore is if you feel God would be upset with you if you didn’t show up that Sunday. God wants you to go to church, but if you don’t go, He is not going to launch his fury at you. Christianity is not made up of rules and obligations you should follow; its sole foundation is the love and sacrifice of Christ as both God and man. Going to church is not another thing to check off of a “ways to please God” list. 

Granted, Hebrews 10:25 says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." In other words, we are commanded to gather with like-minded believers in worship, but at the same time, God doesn't treat our church attendance like a game of thunderbolts. He isn't Zeus simply waiting to zap those who don't show up when the church doors open. 

As Christians, a natural overflow of our faith in our daily lives causes us to want to go to church, worship, and commune with other believers. We shouldn’t go just because we think it will make God pleased with us. God’s love for us is not based on what we do but rather on His unchangeable and loving nature. If you only go to church because you feel God would be upset with you if you didn’t, perhaps you need to not only reevaluate your idea of church but also your perception of God's love. 

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Koldunova_Anna

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3. You're Not Worshipping 

A third sign you’ve made church a chore is if you’re only going through the motions of church rather than truly worshipping the Lord. Going through the motions of church, such as singing the songs without really thinking about them, leads to mindless worship. You shake the hands, smile at the right time, tell everyone there the kids are doing great, and keep moving through the service as if it's an obstacle course. In other words, our hearts are not involved in the worship. There is no rest for the weary soul, no rejuvenation for the spirit. 

Church is not a place to go through the motions—it is a place to do corporate worship with other believers and a chance to refresh your spirit and soul for the upcoming week. If you have noticed church has begun to feel like a chore, try to truly worship God in church by singing in worship, listening to the sermon, and letting the words soak in. Meditate on the worship songs and meditate on the sermon. You can even practice thanksgiving when church leaders and members stop to shake your hand and ask how you are. 

Allow yourself to be ministered to at church by both believers and the Holy Spirit. There's a reason the Sabbath is a holy day created for rest. As humans, our bodies and souls require this time to detox from sin and stress and prepare for the spiritual warfare ahead. Don't treat this opportunity of rest and recharge at church worship as a waste of time. 

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women of the reformation old church door

4. You're Leaving Before Service Ends

A fourth way to tell that you’ve made church a chore is if you leave before the service ends. Leaving before the service ends is a pretty straightforward sign that you're ready to just, well, get outta there. You stay for the bare minimums and then you pack up your things and head to the nearest restaurant that isn't already packed with the Sunday lunch crowd. If you are consistently leaving church before service ends, it is a good time to reflect on your view of church and what your soul gleans—or should be gleaning—while there. 

Leaving church early is understandable in certain circumstances, such as if we’re not feeling well, but we shouldn't ditch the end of the church service for any and every reason. Just like doing household chores is bothersome, if a person leaves church early, it shows that they see going to church as bothersome, uncomfortable, and as a weekly chore that they want to hurry up and push through so it's over. As Christians, when we start leaving church early, we need to examine ourselves and ask, “Why am I leaving early? Why do I want to leave early?” By answering these questions honestly, we will have a better handle on why we wrestle with our church conduct motives. 

And don't forget, the end of the service is typically a time to allow others to come to Christ. This is a crucial moment in the service when we shouldn't pose as distractions. Meanwhile, the end of the service, when music is playing and the pastor is talking, is an opportunity for you to reflect on the music you heard, the sermon that was preached, and to seek what the Holy Spirit was telling you in all those things. This is where so much of your rejuvenation and excitement come from. 

Don't see yourself short by skipping out on church. 

Photo Credit @kellysikkema

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5. You See Your Relationship with God as a Chore

A fifth sign you’ve made church a chore is if you are viewing your entire relationship with God as a chore. Often, if we feel our relationship with God is a chore, we will view going to church as a chore too. Our relationship with God is not a chore, but rather a great honor and privilege. Christianity is not about following rules or trying to “keep in favor” with God by doing “Christian” activities such as going to church. Your relationship with the Almighty should, instead, be a strong, true, and loyal friendship with Christ, asking His forgiveness when you sin and allowing Him to be the Lord of your life. A healthy relationship with God is as simple as believing in Christ's selfless work on the cross, dying for mankind's sins, and rising again three days later so all of mankind could forever commune with God in heaven. 

You don’t have to do special rituals or go through the motions to make God happy. Obeying God, loving Him, and serving Him bring great joy into God’s heart. It is wrong to equate God’s favor or your relationship with Him based on your church attendance. Your relationship with God is the most special relationship you will have in your entire life and for all eternity. Do not view the relationship you have with God as being a checklist chore. 

Church is a Joy

Going to church is truly a joy. Each Sunday morning, you get to meet with other believers and worship the Lord with gladness of heart. Church is the place where you can worship as a community of believers, study the Word together, and hear divine truths from the Holy Spirit. Jesus established the church in order for us to worship together as a body of believers. It is dangerous to believe you don’t need to go to church or to start viewing church as a chore to “get over with” each Sunday morning. 

Going to church should cause your heart to fill with gladness and joy. Church is truly a wonderful place that we should eagerly await each Sunday. In between church services on Sunday, we need to make sure we are active in talking with God in prayer and reading the Bible. If we do this, we will be able to keep in contact with God throughout the week rather than only communing with Him on Sunday mornings. Your relationship with God and going to church should not be seen as chores, but rather as wonderful privileges to worship God, praise God, study the Word, and fellowship with other believers. 

Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

Originally published Wednesday, 25 May 2022.