In my twenties, I stopped going to church, and I don’t regret it. Here’s why I stopped going to church and how that decision actually grew my faith.
Growing up, my family didn’t attend church regularly. I vowed that someday my future family—me, my husband, and our 2.5 kids—would make church a priority. But, only two months after getting married, I stopped going to church.
To be clear, our family didn’t stop physically attending a church service on weekends. We just stopped seeing church as a place we go and let it become what it’s designed to be: who we are. We no longer saw the church as a place to get our own needs met, but instead realized that we are the Church and we exist for the world.
Our first step in becoming the Church was signing up to serve in the kids’ ministry. After that, our faith became stronger and bolder as we began to tithe, attend a LifeGroup, serve local mission partners, lead LifeGroups, and mentor friends and family.
Through all these things, I learned that a church building is nothing without the people who fill it. And when those people leave, the Church goes with them.
These three perspectives help us to be the Church.
- Spiritual growth happens best in action—when we get in the game.
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” James 1:22 NLT
- Worship isn’t just singing songs on Sundays. Worship is living our lives in honor of who Christ is and what He’s done for us.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Romans 12:1 NLT
- The Gospel isn’t just presented in a brick-and-mortar building; it’s presented every time you walk into a room.
Matthew 5:14-16 NLT states, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
In a dark world, our lights shine bright. Like a city on a hill, we cannot be hidden when we stop just attending church and become the Church.
I’ve seen this play out in my personal life, my friends’ lives, and in the Church. I’ve even seen it in my professional life—I’m blessed to be on staff at Life.Church. I’m part of a team that shares resources—from Life.Church and partner ministries—with other churches. It’s a team that exists purely to serve other churches.
Just like we’re called as individuals to be the Church, the Life.Church Open Network is called to help churches serve each other. Churches in the network pray for each other, share ideas, and swap resources. In fact, since 2006, more than 10 million free digital resources have been downloaded from the Open Network site—each one equipping pastors and church leaders to do ministry in their local communities.
Going from a girl who simply wanted her family to attend church to a woman, wife, mom, and professional who is the Church has changed the trajectory of my life.
When we see the roles we play in the Church, our hearts change. Church no longer seems like a place we go so God will be pleased with us, but something we get to be a part of because we truly love God and love others.
How can you be the Church? Maybe your journey starts with serving. Find out what God wants you to do, and commit not just to attend church, but to be the Church.
Okay, are you ready to stop just going to church and start being the church? At Life.Church we love to host Open Door events to help people like you learn more about how to find a place to belong at Life.Church. Ask about the next Open Door at your physical location or at Church Online. We’d love to see you there.