No, You Don’t Have to Go to Church. Here’s Why…

This post went “live” on Steve Austin’s blog today.  Here are the first couple of paragraphs as a teaser. Read the rest on his blog…(link below)

“It isn’t necessary that we stay in church in order to remain in God’s presence. We can make our hearts personal chapels where we can enter anytime to talk to God privately. These conversations can be so loving and gentle, and anyone can have them” 
Brother Lawrence

I suppose I had expectations when I joined Church. I came to Christ late in life in my mid-50s. I wanted to be mentored, discipled. I chose to be baptized in my first church, living in an unfamiliar town where I had taken a teaching job at a Catholic school. I was excited about the prospect of learning, of soaking up God the Father, Jesus and the Spirit. Six months after my restoration I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At my own Church, I found judgment and “don’ts.”



  1. Love this post. And I agree. I clicked over to Steve Austin’s site to read your post. I love his site too. Thanks for sharing. God bless.


    1. Thank you as always for your supportive words, Steve.


  2. There was a time in my life when “church” was just sharing with a few people at work how God was working in our lives, what we were learning from Him, etc. Now I’m part of a “real church” which I love, but I will still consider those times of sharing and mutual support during breaks at work to be a form of “church.” Anyway, thanks for sharing this. I think it probably helps a good number of people.


    1. Thank you; I hope it does.


  3. I read your organized “church” testimony, Susan. It saddens me that this is a far too common experience for believers. This is why I’ve made a point to talk about the difference between following Jesus and being religious. While I believe authentic fellowship with other believers and even church governance is important to help us grow (Eph.4:11-16), which is how the early church grew to maturity, we can certainly find that outside of traditional church buildings. The “church” (ecclesia) is the assembly of called out ones, but I believe we need a big paradigm shift in thinking in how we organize, and allow Jesus to deal with our dysfunctional relational issues honestly. We need each other to help us with our blind spots, but that includes those in authority, too. I’ve said before that the organized church as we know it is broken. But it’s Jesus’ church that He’s building, not ours, and the gates of hell won’t prevail against it. I pray for a new type of organized church to arise out of all of this.


    1. ” I believe we need a big paradigm shift in thinking in how we organize, and allow Jesus to deal with our dysfunctional relational issues honestly. We need each other to help us with our blind spots, but that includes those in authority, too. ”

      I agree with you here, Mel, and there are those in person and online (you, for example) I consider authorities, and who I check in with for validation or correction.

      It’s the blame game I can’t handle, and I walk away from anyone who acts differently outside of church than they do on the inside.

      Thank you for your prayers; they are mine, too. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen Susan. The blame game goes back to Adam, not part of who we are in Christ.


      2. Nodding my head, Mel. Makes sense.


  4. […] via No, You Don’t Have to Go to Church. Here’s Why… — Susan Irene Fox […]


  5. Harley Quinn · · Reply

    It is important to show those who don’t go to Church, but are believers, that this is ok. I had been “away” from my church at times, and I still had conversations with God and loved Jesus. After awhile, once I moved back into the area again, I could’ve gone back to the church. I went here and there, but never every Sunday. It was a very bleak time for me, as my mental illness kept getting worse. I still prayed. It was what I know. The only time I didn’t was when I was in the psychiatric hospital for extreme paranoia and psychosis. I actually thought that God was evil and fed people lies. I threw out the Bible my mom packed into my bag.

    Last fall I went back to my church for the first time in years. I was so scared that people would be angry at me bc I hadn’t been going. They embraced me as if I never left.


    1. It is okay, Jennifer. Many of us are berated for not attending “Church.” Many don’t take the time to understand that church is different for everyone. So glad your return experience was a good one. I pray it is a lasting one.


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