BOYCOTT ‘GOING TO CHURCH’
By DANNY MINTON
Question: How many of you go to church on Sunday? Raise your hand! Wow! That’s impressive. Okay, how many of you go to church mostly on Easter or at Christmas? I see a few two-timers. Okay, how many of you take your children to church or at least did when they were at home? Most of you! Again that’s impressive!
Online I’ve noticed a number of people who have said they are going to boycott the NFL because of the players kneeling at the anthem. I’m not sure how many will actually go through with it, especially if their team is winning, but there may be a few who do.
We are called to boycott products when they sponsor something we don’t like. We are urged to boycott places of business that don’t suit our personal beliefs. We are even pressed to boycott movies or shows that have people with whom we have found offensive in some way.
Today, I’m calling everyone to boycott going to church. I’m asking every one of you this Sunday to not go to church. Preachers and members alike, don’t go to church. Please do not go wake your children up this Sunday to tell them to get ready to go to church. Join me in this boycott, “I Refuse to Go to Church!” Let your neighbors know, tell your friends, and impress upon your family that you for one are not going to church this Sunday or any Sunday from now on.
Instead of “going to church” I want you to get up Sunday, wake up your kids and remind everyone it’s time to go to worship with the rest of the saints. It’s time for the church to get out of bed and gather together to honor and glorify God.
It may sound like a matter of semantics, but it’s not. You see, we can’t really “go to church,” because Christians are the church. The church is not a building we go to but made up of our fellow Christians. Church does not exist only on Sundays, but every day, every hour, every minute of the week.
I’ve seen several articles and books on why our young people don’t “go to church” and why “church attendance” is down. We gauge the success of a congregation by the numbers, like the stock market with its ups and downs in attendance and membership. Much of the problem today is that we have been “going to church” too long and not realizing that we are the church seven days a week.
You open up a social media page, and at times it’s difficult to tell who is a Christian and who’s not. One page will quote scripture, and the next will be a picture or quote we would never want our mother to read or see. We are observed by people of the world, who see us for who we are and not for who we say. Paul wrote to the Romans about shaping our lives to be like Christ. I like the paraphrase of “The Message” as it quotes Paul, “God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.” (8:29)
As you drive through many small towns, you may see a sign for one of the older “Churches of Christ.” At the bottom of the sign, you will often see the phrase, “The church of Christ Meets Here.” To some, it may come across as arrogant, but the intent was not one of arrogance but understanding, understanding that the church is not a building, but the people.
So this week I’m calling on everyone to boycott “going to church.” Impress upon your family that you are arising this next Sunday morning to assemble with individual Christians as the church gathering to worship. Stress why you are going. Then, when we walk through the doors of our buildings pay more attention to why we are there instead of where.
“And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” Matthew 18:20
Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ