How to Respond to Friends Who Say, ‘Can’t Nature Be My Church?’

How to respond to friends who say, ‘If I can see God in nature, why bother going to church?’

The Dolomites
The Dolomites (photo: alexvi82 / Pixabay/CC0)

This video originally appeared at and is used here with permission.

Some people say, “I see God in creation. Nature’s my church, so why would I bother going to church?” Usually that’s kind of a cop-out. It’s like, “I don’t feel like going to church — here’s my excuse.”

But the reality is, of course you could see God out here. The greatest saints saw God in creation. St. Francis called the sun his “brother” and water his “sister.” We can see God’s presence everywhere in what he made. He intended it to be that way. God’s fingerprints are all over everything. Every time you see truth, beauty and goodness, you’re seeing a little imprint of God in the things that he made.

But don’t stop there. When you see that, that’s God calling you a deeper intimacy with himself. So when you see that, let it propel you to prayer, to worship and to things like going to church.

Because when you focus on God in that direct and profound way, guess what: That doesn’t take away from your experience of God and creation. It helps you see it even more clearly.

You come out here and you see him in all his glory. Here we get the fingerprints of God in creation. But in church — the Body of Christ — you get him directly.