Sometimes…oftentimes….I find church boring.
It’s just that it seems a lot like a meeting to get through. Granted, a meeting that starts with a song, or rather, a half a dozen or so. For some the songs come out of hymnals with an organ accompaniment while others use songs written in this decade. I’m not picking on either one, I enjoy both.
The point is every service starts the same way.
Next, there’s the offering/ announcement/ hug your neighbor time. When visiting a church, this is my least favorite time. I’m not a fan of hugging strangers. That could be because I’m all of 5 feet tall and hugging anyone means my face automatically goes in their arm pit, shoulder or chest. Here’s the deal, people. If you’ll bend down a few inches I’ll stand on my tippy toes. Ok?
Luckily, we live in an age with smart phones, so this is also a great opportunity to look busy on your phone. I think there’s added points if you update your Facebook status with a Scripture or some lyrics from a song sung that morning. (I get it. I’ve done it, too) Extra, EXTRA points if you use #blessed in the description.
The capstone of your morning is listening to a sermon. It’s a trail mix blend of stories, Scripture and pithy truths to scribble down in a notebook or on the back of a bulletin (and most likely) never read again. Heck, by mid-week I’m not even sure I remember the verses that were referenced. That might be because, periodically, throughout the message I’ll find my mind wandering to the weather outside, the fact that my leggings are cutting off my circulation or the laundry list of tasks I need to accomplish the coming week.
I’ve been to numerous churches in my lifetime and the general outline is the same. Come, sing, give money, hug people, listen to sermon and go. Ya sit, stand, sit and you’re out of there by lunch. You can almost taste the Chinese buffet now. Mmmm….Sweet and Sour Chicken.
I’m not saying any of this stuff is wrong. It’s good to worship. It’s good to give. It’s good to hug (sometimes). It’s good to be taught. I just think we’re missing the point.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
I think about Heaven a lot. Maybe it’s because life is so freakin’ hard or maybe it’s just because I’m homesick (Heb. 13:14). Its been said, “Don’t be so Heavenly minded that you’re of no earthly good.” That’s a bunch of bologna.
If anything, we need to be more Heavenly minded. What would that look like? I’m not exactly sure, but sure isn’t some mandated meeting. It’d be more like a party. There’d be laughing and food and celebration. No one nods off at a party. No one checks their watch at a party. No one is worrying about work the next day at a party.
I love inviting friends to parties. Meetings…not so much. This isn’t some lame-o excuse for me not inviting my friends to church, then again, maybe it is. The last thing I want to do is bring a friend to church and have them leave thinking, “If that’s Christianity, it sure is boring. I’d rather stay home and watch football.” I think they call that doing more harm than good. Truth be told, I’d rather stay home most Sundays, too.
But, if I can invite my friends to a party, that’s a different story. I’m not talking about flashy lights and fog machines, either.
Our modern day church services seem to place a much smaller value on relationships and community and a lot more value on me facing a podium or a stage or a screen. Before anyone loses their mind, or thinks I’ve lost mine, let me be clear– I’m not anti-church. It’s great to gather together with a common focus (Jesus) and sing songs to Him and learn about Him and build relationships with one another.
I just don’t think what we’ve always done is working. It looks an awful lot like a four-walled box. You come in, you do your time, and you go. That sounds awful because it is awful. I want something more and I think the world is looking for more. Something significant. Something worth getting out of bed for…and not just because there’s shame propelling you through the church doors.
In the end, I want a slice of Heaven on Earth. Not just on Sundays, but every day of the week and I want people (all people) to see that and want it too.
17 thoughts on “You’re Invited!”
So true! A lot would not admit this honestly of how routine church can and has become at times. But grateful for times of refreshing that can reawaken and make it fun again. I need a refreshing pronto!!
Ya, I’m sure not everyone will agree and that’s OK. I think we get caught up in this idea that we can’t change things. There’s nothing boring about God and yet sometimes we make Him so very drab.
I love your honestly. I can truly relate. May God continue to bless you. Continue to be bold for God. I believe more lives will be touched by you because of your honesty and transparency. Stay encouraged!
Thank you, friend!
Great piece here Holly.
Thank you, Will. That means a lot coming from you.
At our church we have some awesome music!! Then again we don’t.
It’s time like that I get bored because I’m always wanting the good music.
Then sometimes our main preacher doesn’t preach. I love when he preaches!! When other associate preachers preach it just isn’t the same.
Thanks for this post and I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets bored.
Ya, I guess for me it has nothing to do with a preference issue. I’ve gone to tons of churches in my life and I feel the same in all of them. It’s a bigger issue going on (I think).
My uncle reversed it when he was a pastor. No music up front. Just a welcome and launch straight into the message. After the sermon, the band would play. His theory is that’s the way it should be. He felt that singing up front left people confused because worship was supposed to be a celebration but many people walk into a church not knowing why they should celebrate. But hearing God’s word first gave them a reason to worship and having the worship at the end gave every one a reason to be glad through the rest of the week. We also didn’t pass around an offering basket. And most of the people that came to church there were in drug rehab so it was always interesting.
Our pastor does that to sometimes. He’ll speak then we’ll do the rest. I just want him speaking all the time. He’s really great!!
That’s an interesting thought. Thanks for sharing that, guys!
It’d be interesting to flip it like that– I like his reasoning behind it. Having the message give the premise for why we celebrate. That’s good stuff, Nic. As for the offering, we don’t pass baskets either. We have one big one up front that people can put it in and mingle at the same time.
Thanks for writing about this kinda touchy topic that we have all felt at some point. And you did a great job reminding is what the focus should be. It was a great read!
Thanks for that, Ben. I really do appreciate it.
Clap clap, Thank you for this…now I know for sure Im not an odd ball.
I go to one of the biggest churches in my country. most of the youth and young adults know from their childhood, so they have quite inclusive groups. But so hard for an outsider to be accepted in.
also, if you have loots f worries in your life, the people act as if they are counselors and the other one “a patient”. The worldly people become friends, show their weaker sides, be happy, enjoy together.. But I didn’t see it from my Christian friends.
Sometimes, if you miss a church few days, they can be so cold towards you. if you share a problem, they will not say ” I’m sure glad you are ok” they just bluntly ask, “why didn’t you come to church?” That’s just so sad.
Toughest lesson was, when both my parents were very ill. the Church knew it, but they never came to visit and pray. They were very sick and so lonely, longing for a loving word. But when each of my parents passed away, all the pastors came in droves to pay their respects. But what’s the use? My parents cant see them or hear them.
In each time, God told me ” I called you, not them.. don’t look at people, look to Me.”
And God sent His own shepherds to encourage me wherever it was necessary. But my own family of God disappointed me a lot.
I’m not a church goer, but I do attend Prayer meetings, and God is with me, He has been so FAITHFUL!!
what I learnt is, DONT rely on people. Rely only on God. HE will make perfect what He had promised.