7 Reasons to Quit Attending Church


So you’re thinking about quitting your church. You’ve had those kinds of thoughts at different moments in the past but could never find sufficient justification to quit. You know lots of people who have quit going to church and wonder how they managed to do it. All you’re looking for is one good reason to quit. Well you’ve come to the right place! I’ve compiled seven excellent reasons for quitting. Feel free to use the one that suits you best.

  1. There are hypocrites there. I know what you mean! There are people at church who cheat on their spouses, lie on their income tax returns, get drunk on Friday nights, treat people unfairly, gossip and lie about all sorts of things. Why in the world would you want to associate with people like that? Of course you should quit going to church! And while you’re at it, look around at the people in your civic club that you are a member of to see if there are any hypocrites there, as well. As soon as you find one (and you know you will), turn in your resignation to that club, too. Then you can search for an organization where everyone is perfect that you can join. Good luck to you.
  2. Someone hurt your feelings. Someone did something or said something that hurt your feelings? Ouch! There’s nothing like feeling like someone rubbed you with coarse sandpaper! Why should you tolerate such behavior? After all going to church is all about you, isn’t it? It’s about how you feel, not about God or Jesus. Forget about how He feels or what He wants and expects from you. Keep the focus solely on yourself. And while you’re at it, you might consider not going to anymore family gatherings because you know someone there is going to hurt your feelings, too.
  3. You don’t agree with some of the decisions by the leadership. Who do they think they are anyway making a decision without consulting you and doing what you want them to do?! How insulting and inconsiderate. No doubt you always have a clear sense of what the right thing is to do in every situation. As a matter of fact, the very fact that you are not a member of the leadership is reason enough to quit going to church. To not include someone like you who is reasonable, fair, and spiritually mature at all times is evidence of their poor judgment.
  4. I don’t have any “church” clothes. Exactly! Everyone knows that God is more interested in how we look and dress than he is with what is in our heart. His focus has always been on how we look on the outside rather than on our attitude. When we explain to Him that we quit going to church because we couldn’t dress like everyone else, I’m sure He’ll say, “I completely understand. Thank you for not showing up at church dressed like regular people. I’d rather you not worship me at all than to worship without wearing a dress and heels or a three-piece suit and wingtip shoes.”
  5. A friend of yours was treated unfairly. You want to come out swinging at the injustice, don’t you? You want to give someone a piece of your mind, to really let them have it for being so unfair to your friend. I don’t blame you! Everything in life is supposed to be fair, isn’t it? We should all get exactly what we deserve every time. Something you should also consider doing is quitting you job. Remember that co-worker who lost their job just because they missed work when their child was sick? How fair was that?! If you quit your job, that would really show them, wouldn’t it? So go ahead and quit.
  6. All they want is my money. It’s every Sunday, isn’t it? Just like clockwork they pass that basket around for people to drop their hard earned money into. And for what? To pay to keep the church building warm in winter and cool in summer and for the upkeep of the building? (You’ve got to admit that might be a good reason to ask for money because you surely wouldn’t want to be uncomfortable when you go to church.) But what about them spending the money on helping those who don’t have adequate food or clothing? Or spending money in other countries? Why not let people fend for themselves like you have to do? And why pay someone to devote their time to studying the Bible and sharing their knowledge with the church, to be ready at the drop of a hat to respond to someone who is in the hospital or who has lost a loved one or whose marriage is in trouble and needs some wise counsel? It’s just a waste of money, isn’t it?
  7. Who needs church anyway? You’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head with that one! Why in the world would you want to be around a bunch of people who are trying to learn how to be more loving and forgiving? Associating with people who are struggling with their shortcomings and trying to be more Christ-like makes no sense, does it? Do you really need more people in your life who try to be supportive and pray for you? Being surrounded by people who weep with you when you weep or cheer you on when you’re discouraged makes no sense. You’re better off trying to do life all by yourself. Who needs other people anyway?

These are the best reasons I could come up with for quitting church. (I thought about including the one about how you work hard all week and need a day off to just rest, but I thought that one sounded a little selfish.) So go ahead and quit. And if anyone asks you why, just whip out this list and wave it in their face.

One more thing – good luck. You’re going to need it!

46 thoughts on “7 Reasons to Quit Attending Church

  1. I would take a simpler road and ask two questions:

    o Are you a believer? If not, quit.

    o Do you feel that you have a net benefit from going to church? (Where “benefit” should not be construed as monetary. Instead, considere e.g. spiritual development, personal associations, user of time, …) If not, quit.

    To this rough guideline some exception may need considerations, e.g. once-a-year visits with the family on traditional holidays, but for most people it will give the right decision most of the time.

  2. This might be the most demeaning and hateful article I’ve read in a long time. Way to mock and belittle how painful it is for some people in churches. It’s quite possible that some are not surrounded with love and support. The truth is, most are not. And if Gods requirement for me is to regularly show up in a place where I am treated terribly, shunned, lied about, and made to feel like an outsider then I don’t think I need to bother with that God.
    And frankly, if the author of this blog is the type of people one finds at church, that’s another great reason to stay away.
    The author should be ashamed of how mockingly he approaches this subject. Leaving church after more than 30 years was not a decision I came to lightly. The mocking nature of that painful event is not appreciated

    1. Julianne, I appreciate your honest reaction to my article. It sounds as if you were in a very painful and unhealthy situation in the church you attended. How can I fault you for making that very difficult decision to walk away. And my article was in no way meant to encourage people to stay in an unhealthy environment.
      However, I’m sure you are wise enough to know that all churches aren’t the same. I would suggest that you “shop around” to see if you can find a church family that will help you heal from the deep spiritual wounds you have received.
      I pray God will help you in your search.

    2. Julianne, I left my church after being there for 13 years. It was not an easy decision and after leaving I was shunned from the members of that church. Reading this article brings back some bad memories. All I can say is people like this don’t get the pain. Its easy to whitewash this and say “all churches are like this” and not address the abuse that happens in a lot of churches. I hope that you found peace after leaving, I know I did. Have a great new year.

    3. do you go to church just to be a consumer of what it has to offer you? try changing the mindset to going to be an administrator of Gods love to others instead of whats in it for you.

    4. I am SO sorry you’ve been hurt by churchies, & I know exactly where you are coming from. There is this uppity attitude (I see it in some of these ignorant comments on here & I’m biting my tongue; you see, what goes around comes around and God will not allow these nasty folks including those posting crud on here against those hurting, to continue. They will someday feel the pain and suffering because you see we have a righteousness God), there are clicks, mistreatment of those that don’t fit their legalistic mold, constant competition, complaining, gossip, lying, hypocrisy & other bad behavior beyond extremes, also, by church leaders, that is ignored. It’s all big business today. Get rid of their tax exempt status and see how fast these greedy megachurches close down and go back to the smaller more “compassionate for people” and their sufferings, churches, like Jesus expects. Until we find a small intimate church that is on the right track, we’ll continue to worship at home, and “give” to those charities and organizations that matter to “us.” Those we feel “God” is leading us to assist. God’s in control of our family, not churchies. God Bless and remember, man’s stupidity is not God’s fault. Keep Him close. 🙂 We have peace, freedom, and the love of Jesus. Heidi God Bless you too! And Peacekeeper, you hit the nail on the head!

  3. I love it! One part hits the nail on the head… its what is in our heart, not what we wear or anything else. If anyone evr gives these excuses… it means they are looking for a way out.

  4. Every Christian posting on this is judgemental. This post is so ignorant. People don’t attend when they have nice things for the reasons of judgemental higher class folks. This is all spiteful and I just can’t believe a “Christian” would post such a thing.

    1. I posted my comment and I’m in no way, judgemental, in what I wrote. Webster dictionary; definition to Judge, as it applies: To hear, estimate, suppose: also, to criticize. ( I am a Christian, and I did not judge according to definition because I didn’t do any of these.) Further definition: Judgement: ( in Short) The pronouncement of a public opinion or decision; also, the opinion or decision given. The result of judging; opinion. The act of mind when it compares, discriminates, or otherwise considers things as to judge their values or to understand their mutual relations. Perhaps, Mr. Johnson ‘s, 7 Reasons,” would fit in some, if not all,of the definitions, I gave, maybe not.( I hope you read what I said in my comment in response to his post.) You gave your opinion about all Christians who posted about MR. Johnson’s comment and criticized his, post. I did Not. I merely stated a comment Jesus said in the Bible; and said to him, that his Negative, comment offered excuses not to go to Church, when a Positive comment would have been something I would’ve liked to have seen. I didn’t like his comments , either, but I want go so far as to say, every Christian, who commented on Mr. Johnson’s post, is Judgemental or judging others’, though. However, I might add, that every opinion a person may have or say, isn’t judging because of the subject being spoken off. We must take what people say into consideration before we automatically say,” They’re judging someone.” I didn’t like his post, either, and I felt he was asking for peoples’ comments, so he can add them to another book he, is, or wants to write. The way I read this was, he’s looking for opposition to feed his negative personality. Perhaps “He’s burnt out in his occupation from hearing all the negative remarks he’s getting from his patients. I see no judging done on either side, because he was looking for input. He knew what he said and how he phrased his words, would indeed,” Ruffle some Feathers.” JMO.

      1. This adverse writing style does cause people to comment. It is used in many fields, but this is the first time I have seen it tried in the venue of church and religion. I take this as a call for self-examination of one’s heart in regards to not attending church. While quite many people are offended and outraged because of it. In conclusion, I think this style of antagonistic writing is better used in politics of maybe even fiction.

  5. Peacekeeper, I think you’re missing the whole point concerning this great article. This is applicable to any “situation” not just concerning, church attendance , although this particular article is.
    Have a great day……smile!!

  6. While I understand the point of the article it is written in a very callous and condescending way. It is fine for those who are strong in their faiths and have a supportive church fellowship but for anyone who was thinking about leaving church it would probably have the opposite affect than helping then want to stay, instead I would feel talked down to and judged.
    People who are not feeling the spirit at church, no matter the reason need apathy, understanding and kindess, and this is a bit belittling.
    I worry what someone who was struggling with church would just be turned further away after reading a piece such as this one.

    1. Sometimes when one writes or one responds to the writer, one may not “hear” the inflection in ones tone, therefore construing the persons intent of what has been written. Mr. Johnson would never intentionally talk down or judge another person. This article, in my opinion, has a lot of truth and, including myself , sometimes our defenses may go up if we see any correlation between what has been said, and ourselves. He is a good man, so please don’t judge him so harshly. He means well !! Hope you have a Hsppy New Year. God bless!

      1. I am taking by the way you are writing your comments Charlene is because you know the writer personally. This article is belittling and condescending in every point. There is no grace, just sarcasm. You might know him to be a good man, but this article does not show it.

      2. Heidi, I met Mr. Johnson for the very first time in December 2014. So no, I do not know him personally. Let’s just say, first impressions can let you see a lot about a person. Have a good day.

      3. Considering this debate, I have read the post again and more thoroughly. (To my fault, I only read the one-sentence summary of each bullet point the first time around.)

        My second impression is definitely that the tone and attitude of the post is not a constructive one. There may be legitimate problems addressed by the bullet points that can be legitimately discussed and legitimately brought to the attention of those who consider quitting for a poor reason. The above, however, is not a good way to do it. (Do not forget Hanlon’s Razor, however.)

        As for first impressions, only a fool trusts them. For a variety of reasons, a first impression can (and often does) give an entirely incorrect image of someone—as do second and third impressions too, if too superficial. Meeting someone once and drawing conclusions is about as effective as throwing a coin and making a judgment based on the outcome.

    2. I believe so many so called Christians don’t know the Jesus of the bible. The modern no judging Jesus is not from the bible. It is true that so many Christians have not the love of Christ. But the problem is when because one judges another according to scripture that means their not “Christ like” that person don’t know Jesus. He taught that what is right is right, and he was not above preaching and calling people fools and blind! Love is telling the truth even if it offends someone. And for the record Jesus who was God in the flesh was at the temple on the Sabbath with a bunch of hypocrites and liars and many of those people wanted to kill him. So church isnt really all that bad. God bless and I agree with the brothers 7 reasons!

    1. Anonymous I can see your comment on not seeing your replies, not sure why I see the comment but nor the actual replies, wierd.

  7. I have been always told that the truth hurts, and you can never satisfy everyone, as for me I must say before I allowed God to have control of my life, quite a few of those statement I have said, but God showed me that it was all me making excuses to avoid HIM…Thankful he is such a forgiving God..❤️

  8. Michael,, I don’t consider this “discussion” a debate. We all have our opinions, views and perceptions, be them wrong or right. I don’t mind being called a fool, or any name for that matter, it doesn’t bother me. I have known Mr. Johnson’s wife since childhood. She is a very caring, compassionate Christian lady. We reunited after many years in December, which was when I met Mr. Johnson. Yes, my first impression was/is correct and not superficial. I did not get an incorrect impression. I perceive a lot of judging of Mr. Johnson, which some are accusing him of doing. Do you see a double standard here?

    I think this will be my last response and/or comment. I think his life/character speaks for himself. One doesn’t know what a giving, non judgmental person he really is. God bless us everyone!


  9. I truly appreciate everyone sharing their honest reaction to my article. Perhaps it will be helpful for you to know the impetus for the article. You see, I have attended the same congregation for nearly 40 years. During that time I have had my feelings hurt, seen friends treated unfairly, objected to decisions by the leaders, and witnessed scores of hypocrites in the pews. As a result, I have had thoughts of quitting church.
    So I set about spending some time in introspection and prayer. The thoughts in the article are the product of that time spent. I wrote the article to help myself solidify some of ideas but also with the hopes that it would help some people I love dearly think again about their decision to quit attending church.
    It’s very difficult to say everything you’d like to say in 750 words or less. One thing I was NOT saying is that a person should stay in an unhealthy situation. There are times when leaving a specific church/congregation is warranted. (please read my latest article on that topic)
    The point of my article on “7 Reasons….” is that you should not quit attending church altogether because of any of those reasons.
    I hope that these comments will help clarify the concerns of some of you.

  10. That last line was quite cruel. There are those of us who have struggled in church because we have been hurt, confused, and been exposed to difficulties in our walk with God, but you blame us?

    I have been in church for years but there ave been times i have been times when i needed my church and the family of believers and i got nothing. I simply could not face another week of putting on a smile and act like everything was okay because that was expected apparently.

    Sometimes it is not the believer who leaves the church, its the church who leaves the believer.

  11. You need to define church. Church today is not the biblical model. My people perish for lack of knowledge. When churches have an outline and routinly follow without allowing God to lead, despise the prophets well then who wants to follow man? Without the Spirit leading with tradition then you are teaching history.

    1. Gary, you’re right too many have wandered from the Church that Christ established on the day of Pentecost. The Church is the people, not the venue. God bless,

  12. Churches are hospitals for sinners; not hotels for saints. The same seedy, lustful, porn watching, adulterating, greedy, lying, backstabbing, cheating, gossiping people you encounter in society are the same people you sit beside in church. We are all afflicted with different degrees of sin. The only difference being that those who have surrendered their life to Christ and earnestly attend church realize their struggle and their need to attain the Grace and forgiveness in Christ Jesus; yet they remain imperfect and broken in their humanity nonetheless. Look at how the Apostles failed Him; and they even walked with Him. Peter, the Rock on whom His earthly Church was built, denied Him. Judas betrayed Him. We will never be made whole until He returns. If you view the earthly broken body of Christ (His Church) in this light; it is much easier to come to terms with its shortcomings. In my mind, “church” could almost be a verb, for it is a constant struggle to attain perfection through purification; just as gold is purified.

  13. If this post bothers you, let me just say, its in sarcasm so lighten up. I have heard everyone of these excuses and its true and silly of the excuses people use to quit church. She hits the nail on the head. There is no perfect church. You have to be strong in your faith and don’t let others ruin your relationship with God. Go for you not others. Find a church that spiritually feeds your needs.

    1. I’m pleased that you “got” the sarcasm. I thought people would read it and smile at the hyperbole and maybe think, too. Clearly not everyone “heard” the sarcasm and tone of the article that I intended.

      1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I admire people who are faithful even to their own hurt. My experience is a bit different in the sense that I began to see that church: in most cases has become a business. Barna put out a book why people are leaving the church, not leaving Christ, but the institutional concept. The model that we see today(single man/woman leading a congregation) has been questioned by many as unbiblical. There is obviously some short comings with the way we do church and I agree with you that just because there are problems is no excuse to quit. Like marriage we don’t just quit when there is a problem,however, as a whole the church has become(in my opinion) a driven entity, that in spite of their good intentions has become a place of judgment and control and as one who has been a church going Christian for near forty years, to sense God leading him out of the institutional church was a very difficult decision to make. I miss going, but in my spirit I sense the Lord saying “NO”. I fellowship with other believers at restaurants, their homes, work,etc. and I find it more fulfilling then sitting in a congregation for a couple of hours a week. I didn’t take your article offensively, I really appreciate your wanting people to not quit something you practice faithfully. That said, I don’t think you can negate that there is an exodus of people leaving the church and this isn’t just an America phenomenon, but is being experienced all over the world. Thanks again for your article. Blessings…Jack Harper.

    2. Lisa’s post is the most sensible of all! Johnson’s seven reasons are meant to be sarcasm.
      Sometimes through being sarcastic, we can best get across the point at which we’re aiming.

  14. David Johnson, you end your story with, “One more thing – good luck. You’re going to need it!”

    I’d like to know what you meant by that. Can you explain? Are you threatening those that leave the church building? What are you implying will happen to them?

    1. No, no. Not at all. I’m simply suggesting that if a person is looking for a church full of “perfect” people, they’ll need luck finding it because there is no such thing. Every church is filled with flawed people, just like myself.

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