The best way to decline an invitation to church or bible study is by telling the person that invited you to go that you are not interested in learning Christianity.
A person with professional behavior should respect your decision and would not force you to go.
However, the sad reality about this particular subject is the fact that not everyone will try to even understand your point of view and the circumstances that makes you not want to go to a church.
Most people would try their best to do everything that they can to get you to church even through force which is very sad as it contradicts the teachings of Christianity itself. But don’t worry as in this article, we will be going through some of the practical ways that you can utilize to politely reject an uncomfortable invitation to church.
Understand who invited you to church
Firstly, identify the relationship that you have with the person that you are engaging with. Is he your close friend that understands you and respects your point of view or is he a stranger that comes out of nowhere?
It’s highly recommended that you identify them as you might want to adjust your tone accordingly when you are responding to their invites.
If you’re in a case where your new friend is trying to get to know you better and just didn’t know how to start a conversation and the only thing that he or she could think of is to invite you to a church to spend more time with you then you might want to suggest a place that you are more comfortable with.
On the other hand, if you are being invited by a priest or missionary and you don’t want to go but at the same time didn’t want to make any scene try to deny his invitation for the first time that he asked you.
After that, you will need to observe his or her reactions. In a case, the priest respects your decision and moves on with whatever he or she is doing then you’re good to go.
On the other hand, he or she might want to know the reason why you chose not to go. If you are dealing with this scenario then, provided that you have the time and energy to do this, you should clarify to him or her the real reason why you chose not to go.
If you don’t have any concrete reason to give but you still don’t want to commit to going then you can invent some “concrete reasons” that would help you to solve this problem. Some of the concrete excuses that you can use are provided in the example phrases below.
It’s important to keep in mind that you should always remain calm throughout responding to these invitations as some people might have the ability to read your body language. It has been proved by scientific studies that people that stay calm tend to have a higher focus on their problem-solving skills and need less energy level to get the job done compared to a person that stays anxious all the time.
Phrases that you may use to deal with the situation
Some of the things that you could say to them are things like:
“Thank you for your invitation and I appreciate the fact that you want me to increase my knowledge in Christianity but I don’t think I’m interested nor ready for it yet“.
In a case where the person that invites you to church doesn’t know your current religion, then you may say:
“I’m Jewish and I already have my religious commitments to fulfill so I don’t think I can handle more. I would also appreciate it if you stop bothering me in the future”.
This phrase will help to disguise you as an adherent of other religions. Keep in mind that you need to be polite but blunt at the same time when having these types of conversations to avoid any conflicts.
You need to stand firm with your decision and try not to be too nervous by suppressing your emotions to avoid revealing any unnecessary details that might not be helping you to convince your points to the person that you are engaging.
If they insist on inviting you to go to the church then you might want to say something like:
“I’m sorry but I have to reject your invitation and I would greatly appreciate it if you stop sending me any invitations that are related to the church from this point onwards”
or you may also say:
“I believe that I deserve to have the freedom to say no to your invitation and you should avoid inviting me to the church ever again”.
Again, try to observe the reaction of the person that you talked to after you said these kinds of phrases to them.
In most cases, they would show some respect and try to walk away from the conversation but you also need to keep in mind the fact that they only did this because they would like to avoid any sort of destructive argument or physical contact with you and not because they accept the fact that you decline their invitation.
Avoid saying things that might trigger a wave of anger in the person that you are talking to prevent them from developing any sort of negative feelings towards you.
However, you also need to remind them that you are not interested in engaging in any of the activities offered by them. It’s fine for you to directly reject their invitation as you are being honest with them and it’s not considered rude behavior for you to do that.
Alternatively, you may also invite them for a cup of coffee to discuss the topic that you are interested in and it could be anything. If they show a lack of interest throughout the discussion in that particular topic then, you may say something like:
“I hope that you understand now as that’s exactly what I felt when the first time you invite me to go to a church”.
If they accept your invitation and are being truthful with you then they are going to enjoy spending time with you discussing the things that you both are passionate about. Otherwise, there are no other options for them but to accept the fact that you don’t want to go to a church.
At the end of the day, you will either have a great time discovering common things that you both have or you will be able to make them realize the reason why you’re just not ready for that yet.
When you should end the conversation
After all the things that you said to them proved to be ineffective then perhaps it’s time for you to take a step back and get ready to walk away from the conversation.
One way for you to spot when to walk away from the conversation is when they said things like:
“So, I believe that you don’t want to go to the church because you don’t love god”
“Repent and come back to the divine path or you will be punished by God for not doing so”.
All of these phrases may be a sign that tells you to walk right away from the conversation as they try to influence your mind with the things that you cannot see.
There are some bad priests that you need to stay away from as they are known to have little knowledge of Christianity which explains why they might behave in such a way. On the other hand, there are also some young and friendly priests that you can stay friends with.
Apart from that, if they are in any way trying to force you into doing something that you don’t want to do then you should try your best to escape from them to avoid any unwanted tragedies happening.
It’s safe to say that if you are being invited to public areas that are crowded with a lot of people then chances are they would most probably respect your decision and leave you alone. If you are being invited to a rather secluded area with fewer to no people then you will need to stay alert and try your best to engage in the conversation. If he or she starts to have physical contact with you like getting his or her hands around your wrist then you should always be prepared for a fight to save yourself as you might not know what kind of person they are.
In a nutshell, always try your best to be safe and try to minimize the use of profanity and only use it when necessary such as to highlight your points to make it look even stronger.
Sophie Hammond is a journalist, psychologist, and freelance speechwriter for people in politics and business. She lives on the edge of the Rocky Mountains with her dog and a lifetime supply of books. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop.