Bad church member, or expectations considered

So, it’s the eleven o’clock hour, and I’m at home. Late rising, some work around the house and — dang! after ten o’clock and unshowered, so I decided to stay home from church. And I wanted to go and intended to go. I feel bad because, for a number of reasons including travel, I’ve not been able to attend worship for the last few weeks. But I also don’t want to rush, and I have more work around the house I’d have to put off until two o’clock or so.

Not Attending Worship is high on the classic Bad Church Member list, so perhaps that’s what I’m feeling. But rather than ignoring the feeling, I’d rather own up to the feeling as a (probably) misplaced expectation.

Church life requires a measure of discipine, but using old rules and expectations will stifle those who haven’t committed to the discipline of “just knowing how to behave” in church, including attending, volunteering, giving and all the rest.

I’m thinking through “what is” and “what must be.” And how I’ll make it to church next Sunday.

Author: Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

1 thought on “Bad church member, or expectations considered”

  1. Pastorally I would say that we should avoid labeling ourselves “good church member” or “bad church member”. The first appeals to prideful ego, the later to an inflated sense of shame. Better questions:

    How do I live out my church membership?

    How do I handle the responsibility of my membership in my faith community?

    What choices do I need to make, that would help my relationship/interaction with my church?

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