Real Excuses From Real People
What do peanut butter, girlfriends and Rambo the dog have in common? They were all used as reasons for not attending church services in a Twitter poll conducted by Thom Ranier, President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.
Ranier asked church leaders and churchgoers to share some really good excuses they’ve heard from people who choose not to attend church. Some of the responses were common (hypocrites at church, worshipping on the lake or golf course, pastor preaches too long or short, etc.). Ranier said he also received the expected lectures of why we should not see the church as a place to go, or why church is no longer relevant.
But he also got some fascinating responses. I have to confess, the 10 excuses listed below are new to me. Any italicized statements are my own commentary.
1. “We were out of peanut butter.”
2. “I was too drunk, so I went soul winning with my dog, Rambo.”
(Hmm. Drunk and soul winning. Hopefully the dog was sober.)
3. “Both of my girlfriends attend church there.”
(This guy has other problems than just skipping out on church.)
4. “My wife cooked bacon for breakfast, and our entire family smelled like bacon.”
(I like bacon. Not a problem for me.)
5. “The pastor stays in the Bible too much.”
(The nerve of that guy!)
6. “I couldn’t get the lid off the peanut butter.”
(Personally, I never knew peanut butter played that big of a role in church attendance.)
7. “We got burned out at church and have been taking a break the past seven years.”
(Seven is a good biblical number. I’d say it’s time to re-engage.)
8. “The church is too close to drive, and too far to walk.”
9. “I always get hemorrhoids on Sundays.”
10. “I was constipated.”
(Again, those last two excuses reveal a theme I would have never connected with regular church attendance. Yeah, I just said that.)
Perhaps all that explains why those who attend church do so on the average of about 1.5 times per month. And those are the faithful attenders! On holidays like Easter and Christmas Eve, it’s not so much that we unearth a whole new batch of people who’ve never been before, as much as it is everybody showing up at once!
Outside of the two biggest holidays (Easter and Christmas Eve), Mother’s Day weekend is a time when many churches see another bump in attendance. And why not? We celebrate the person in the home who has sacrificed the most for our family. I know that was true of my mom as I grew up, and that’s certainly true of my wife as she raised our two girls. The difference a loving, nurturing mom makes in the life of a child is unfathomable and never-ending.
This weekend, we will continue our Relationships That Define Us series by taking a look at the relationship Jesus had with his mother, Mary. There are some definite stages Jesus and his mother transitioned through, and understanding what Jesus modeled in each of those stages can certainly help us in our relationship with our mothers.
I also recognize that days like Mother’s Day can be very difficult for many because their mother is dead or because they’ve lost a child. A new wave of grief can be triggered by any holiday, but especially Mother’s Day.
I don’t think you will find this weekend’s message to be overly sentimental or emotionally heavy. We’re just going to talk about the various ways we can bring honor to our moms or be honored as a mom in the various stages and ages of life. I
think hope you’ll leave one of our worship gatherings encouraged.
And just a heads up if you plan to come, make sure any peanut butter issues are addressed in your house prior to the weekend as well as bathroom related issues. Who knew Jif and Preparation H could play such an important role in driving up church attendance? Not this pastor!
Worship Song Set for the Upcoming Weekend:
- This is Amazing Grace – (Phil Wickham)
- Glorious Day – (Passion Band)
- For the Cross – (Bethel Music)
- What a Beautiful Name – (Hillsong)