Church services, members, and behind-the-scenes church operations come with the territory when you’re married to a minister. As much as I believe in the church and her mission, I also know what it’s like to be tired of church.
Even if I weren’t a pastor’s wife, I’d understand what it’s like to be tired of volunteering for everything that needs to be done and balancing church with other parts of life. I’d understand what it’s like to serve difficult people while trying not to take it personally when they criticize.
I’ve spent enough time in churches to understand what it’s like to be in a church service with a hundred like-minded people and still feel alone. I know what it’s like to long for community while you’re sitting among your people.
What to do when you’re tired of church
I know that church isn’t perfect and it’s not easy. Even so, I know that regular church attendance is important for believers. We need to be learning, growing, and working together for the Kingdom of God.
So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.- Hebrews 10:24-25
We see clearly in Hebrews that we’re not to give up on church. The scripture doesn’t tell us that we have an opt-out when we’re tired of church or the people within the gathering. So how do you keep going when you’ve lost your joy and you’re tired of it all?
Focus on the Positive
Think about what’s good. Paul tells us in Philippians 4 to think about what’s good and only what’s good:
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. – Philippians 4:8
Joy comes from contentment in God regardless of circumstances. Joy is a mindset. It's a choice.
You can control your thoughts by focusing on what’s good, what’s praiseworthy. That goes a long way when you’re tired of church. If you’re making it a point to think about the best and the beautiful, joy comes naturally. That’s true whether we’re talking about what happens inside the church doors our out.
Joy isn’t about your circumstances or environment. Joy comes from contentment and confidence in God regardless of those things. It’s a mindset. Joy is a choice.
Surround Yourself with Healthy Believers
Speaking of choices, it’s much easier to stay joyful if you surround yourself with positive people. Businessman Jim Rohn pointed out that “you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” That’s why being around positive people matters.
If you’re reading this, you most likely know that there are some, ahem, less-than-pleasant people in every church congregation. You know there are some who have lots to say about what they’d do differently than the church leaders. These precious folks aren’t usually too good at celebrating the wins either.
Be kind to these people, but be aware that you’ll quickly become one of them if you spend too much time with them.
If you’re the average of the five people you’re around the most, you’ve got to spend your time with joyful, life-giving people. That’s how you get through it when you feel tired of (or from) church. That’s how you keep learning, growing, and serving.
Look to God
If you’re tired of church, burned out, or hurt, remember that people make up the church. Imperfect, forgiven people make up churches near and far.
People will fail you, expect more than you can give, and sometimes treat you badly. It’s not pretty, but it’s part of humanity and it’s okay. Sometimes we’re the ones who fail, expect too much, and treat others badly. That’s not the goal, but it happens.
Thankfully, the imperfect people in the church and God himself aren’t one and the same.
Our God doesn’t fail us, expect more than we can give, or treat us poorly. He’s always loving us, molding us, forgiving us, and fighting for us when we deserve it the least.We can't give up on God's people or deny them the very grace & forgiveness we receive.
Our God doesn’t give up on us. We shouldn’t give up on Him or his people or deny the very grace and forgiveness that we thank God for giving us.
Rekindling Joy When You’re Tired of Church
I hope by now you’re encouraged to stay joyful, even if you feel tired of church for whatever reason. In the event that you feel your joy is gone, I’d love for you to join me over at Worshipful Living. I’m sharing my thoughts on rekindling your joy when you’re tired of church as a part of Mandy’s Rekindling Joy series:
Do you know what it’s like to be tired of church? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you stay joyful?