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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Does Church Have to Be Boring?

I have been there too. I have sat through a boring worship service. I didn't know any of the songs. The sermon was one that told me the history of Catholicism which I really wasn't interested in anyway. I just wanted it to stop. The final hymn was the most blessed event of the whole time. It meant it was over!

We have to admit: Not every worship service is going to thrill our souls. Maybe the whole service is for someone else? Maybe my heart is in the wrong place? These may be true some of the time but a lot of the time it is just a boring service.

Worship services should not have entertainment as their primary purpose. Of course, you can tell when a church sets its heart on entertainment. Each song, each sentence and each prayer leads to crescendos which will get the congregation to respond. If they don't the leaders will tell them that there is something wrong with them if they don't fall on the floor with excitement. Crowds and peer pressure can get the individual to just about anything.

Churches whose goal is entertainment are distracting you from the fact that they haven't said anything. Their slight of hand made to look the other way.

Some times church can have lots of substance but say it in the most boring way. The preacher's low monotone voice puts people to sleep even though he is giving the words of life to the congregation. He lacks the excitement he should have that comes with sharing a timeless essential truth.

Here are my suggestions if your church service is only a little boring:

Lean forward when you start getting bored. It is a posture for listening. It will keep you from slumping back and falling asleep.

Get a pen and the bulletin and start doodling. Studies show that people remember 29% more of what they have heard if they doodle. It keeps the hands busy and also keeps us alert.

Ask yourself this question after each of the preacher's sentences: So what? This is not an evaluation but an application into your own life. So what if I do what he has just said. So what if I live with Christ in my heart. What will be the result of compliance with the preacher's message?

Pray during the message. Pray that the preacher will find that message and be able to deliver it. Pray that the Holy Spirit will speak where the preacher is not. Pray that it will be over soon if it is really bad.

Some church services are going to be boring no matter what you do. It certainly doesn' t mean you should stop going. Not every meal your mother made for you was exciting either. You didn't stop eating.

Now, I have to go right now and give an exciting sermon. No kidding!

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