I don’t recommend it often, but as I sat across from a friend and heard her declaration, I knew exactly what she meant:
Sometimes I need to stay home from church to be with God.
I’m a strong advocate of being deeply invested in and belonging to a local church body, not for legalistic reasons, but because God does His work among His people. He brings us together, so we form a whole, complementing each other. We learn from each other through cooperation and conflict. We work through our faith, getting to know God better, as we trust His leading in our relationships, service, and worship. He disciples us as individuals and as a whole. We miss His will and blessing when we disengage.
But we also need solitude with Him. We need His perspective, especially when we sense there is too much noise around us. We need His clarity. That doesn’t mean we selfishly disengage because we’re uncomfortable, inconvenienced, or irritated. Staying home from church isn’t about getting away from something as much as it is an intentional pursuit of Someone.
When done for the right reasons, out of a right relationship with God, staying home from church can be filled with His presence and blessing. Be guided by discernment, not guilt. Be bold in responding to His prompting. It’s not always what we expect.
Seek and savor His presence, no matter where you are.