How to Get Nothing Out of Church

Chances are, if you're reading this post, you're likely a Christian or a church member. Christians rightly recognize the importance of church attendance, but sometimes we struggle with getting much out of it. Maybe that's you. In this post, I want to tell you how to get nothing out of your church, with the hope that, you will be able to get the most possible out of your gathering with God's people this coming Lord's Day. 

Without further ado, here are six things you can do to get nothing out of church: 

  1. Don’t Attend. That’s an obvious one, but it needs to be said. Many people will complain about “not feeling connected” or “not being really fed” who only show up once or twice a month. The most certain way to get nothing out of church is to never show up or only do so infrequently. Treat church attendance like your annual physical or a doctor’s visit rather than a weekly family get-together. Regard it as an optional event in your schedule rather than a priority like school activities, dance recitals, baseball practices, or extra shifts at work. 
  2. Don’t Commit. Or, as a variation on that, only come for the main worship gathering. View the church’s other gatherings (e.g. Sunday school, Sunday night, Prayer Meetings, Small Groups) as optional extras for the super-spiritual. Look to do the bare minimum, which in our culture, is Sunday morning only. Attending only on Sunday morning, while vitally important, will ensure that you miss out on some of the most wonderful aspects of church life such as fellowship, prayer with other saints, instruction, questions and answers, bearing each other's burdens, and members’ meetings.
  3. Don’t Participate. When it’s time to sing, just stand and listen. Mumbling through the words will also do. If you do sing, avoid actually singing loud enough for others to listen. And at all costs, do not let your emotions get engaged with the truth you are singing.  During the corporate prayers, sneak out for the bathroom or at least think, “That guy up there is praying, not me. I’ll think about something else.”  During the Scripture reading, just keep your Bible closed and watch the person “upfront.” During the sermon, just sit back, enjoy, and wait for the good jokes and stories. Don’t take notes. Have a spectator mentality, and you’ll be sure to get little from it.
  4. Don’t Prepare. Stay up late Saturday night watching TV, sleep in until the last possible moment, and then rush out the door without first preparing your heart to approach the living God with His people. Come to church with seconds to spare, bedraggled children in tow, and anxious thoughts bombarding your mind (Did I remember to lock the door?). Lastly, make sure you don’t take time before the service to read the text or confess sin in your heart. You’ll be sure to get very little out of the service.    
  5. Don’t Reflect. After the service, check off your mental box, and immediately head out the door to the afternoon activities. In fact, treat the hymn of response as a time to gather all your belongings so you can make a quick exit. Fill the rest of the day with as many activities as possible, and avoid silently reflecting on God’s Truth that you just heard. Don’t pull your notes out again or think through how God’s Word impacts your life. This is a sure way to avoid getting anything out of church. 
  6. Don’t Fellowship. Make sure you treat church as an event to attend rather than a family to enjoy. That means arriving right as the service starts and leaving right as soon as it's over and talking to as few people as possible. If you do chat, keep the focus on surface-level material, and never make it your business to ask how someone else is doing spiritually. If someone does ask you about your devotions or your walk with Jesus, make sure to give a vague answer, or better yet, tell them it’s none of their business. Throughout the week, don’t interact with other church members. Keep your schedule so full that you have no time for hospitality. 

If you do these six things, you’ll be guaranteed to get nothing out of church. In fact, just doing one or two of them will do the trick. 


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