Psalm 122:1-4, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the Name of the Lord.” What the Psalmist is expressing here is supposed to be the attitude of every Christian towards church and whatever else represents the house of the Lord. We should always be glad and excited about going to church. Unfortunately, however, many Christians these days see going to church as a chore and so they are not happy to do it. A chore, by the way, has been defined, among others, as an unpleasant but necessary task, a job or piece of work which is often boring or unpleasant but needs to be done anyway. Many Christians go to church because they just have to go; the joy of attending Christian fellowship is not really there.
There are several reasons why church could be a chore to a child of God. For instance, whenever Rita is getting sick the first sign she notices is a loss of desire to go to church. Time for Bible study, prayer meeting, Sunday service, etc. becomes the most dreaded time of the day/week for her. Once she starts feeling that way she knows that she needs to pay attention to her physical wellbeing. Sometimes all she needs is to slow down and take some rest. Once the health issue is taken care of and she is full of life again her love for and desire to be in church returns. Rita cannot understand why it is so with her but taking care of her health has been for her a way to cure her loss of desire to go to church. There probably are many other Christians who are in the same situation as Rita. So if church suddenly becomes a chore to you, you might want to go Rita’s way and ensure that you are alright physically, especially if you are one that is usually excited about going to church.
Unlike what happens in Rita’s case, a lack or loss of desire to be in the presence/house of God could be a sign of spiritual (not physical) sickness or even spiritual death in many Christians. Genesis 3:7-12, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Once Adam and Eve sinned against God and died spiritually they lost the confidence to stand before Him. When a sincere, serious-minded Christian steps out of the will of God something “dies” in him and his desire to be in the presence of God may be jeopardized. Some are even reluctant to go to church for fear that the Lord might reveal their sin to their pastor or someone else that has a deep connection with Him. If you love God dearly but have done something contrary to His will, trying to “hide from Him” is not the solution. He is a loving Father and will readily forgive. Follow the instruction in Revelation 2:5, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works…” We are assured in 1st John 1:9, that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. There are, on the other hand, Christians whose hands are permanently buried in sin. The conscience of Christians like that is dead and because they do not fear God they can go to church anytime with filthy garments and even sit right in front of the altar.
Some people see going to church as an unpleasant task because to them their pastor is boring, not a good enough preacher and has nothing to make the time they spend in church worth their while. To some others the problem is with the praise team, the choir, the Sunday school teacher or lessons, etc. so they cannot really say they are gaining anything by going to church. If you discover that you would rather stay home than go to church and be “bored” find out if where you are is really where God wants you to be. If it is not, you need to prayerfully locate where God wants you to fellowship and go there because every Christian needs to attend fellowship. If you are convinced that the Lord is the one that put you in the church that you belong to, then you need to check your connection with the Holy Spirit. If that connection is broken even if you attend the “hottest” church on this planet you will always be bored and disgruntled. Where it turns out that your connection with the Holy Spirit is intact, pray earnestly for your church. That is probably the reason why the Lord planted you there – to see that something is wrong and then intercede for the church (including the pastor and everyone else) until the heavens are opened and dryness disappears.
Interestingly, some Christians are losing their enthusiasm for church because they are getting weary of waiting for the return of the Lord. We are all expecting the coming of our Lord. Many of us desire so much to go home to be with Him. However, if you have reached a point where you are so tired of waiting for the Lord that you do not want to go to church or get involved in His work anymore you probably have lost the joy of being a Christian and need to ask God for help. The Lord expects you to occupy till He comes for you whether through death or through the rapture. Look around you and see what He wants you to occupy yourself with, and get involved in it. That way you will no longer be bored and going to church will not be a chore anymore.
There are also Christians who find going to church unattractive because childlessness, financial problems, marital woes and other problems to which they expect to find solution in church do not seem to go away. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that there is time for everything. God knows when He plans to give you the miracle you desire. Giving up on God and boycotting church never brings the solution to any problem. If anything it makes things worse because if the devil can succeed in separating you from church and your Christian brethren, he will surely take a step further to encourage you to backslide totally so that you can be on your way to hell. Do not allow him.
Think of other reasons why church could become a chore to a Christian.