Just admit it. Some weekends you’d rather see the back of your eyelids than the back of the church bulletin. Sometimes reading through that thick, leather-bound Bible is about as fun as reading through a stack of legal documents. We know we should do it, but . . . dang it, sometimes Christianity is just boring!
It’s no wonder so many churches replaced their steeples and stained glass with stages, lights, rock bands and big screens. Hey, we already have our tickets to heaven so at least give us a few good stories, a funny skit and a couple fun songs for our tithe money. Or maybe we’ll go to the church down the street with that new singles program. Some of us need a date.
Why does it take a crisis to get us on our knees, or a strong dose of guilt to get us to dust off our Bibles? I have a few theories, but generally I think we’re bored because we keep getting the same handful of messages over and over, year after year after year. Same message, different packaging. When it comes to the issues beyond the basics, we leave those to theologians and missionaries and people that like to argue on Facebook. For us, the simple gospel message is plenty.
But is it?
What if the U.S. Army was all about recruitment and enrollment with a strong emphasis on the quality of its benefits? Yeah, sometimes they would mention things like basic training, conditioning, unity, chain of command, or, you know, the war, but overall, each meeting would emphasize enrollment and the great benefits. There is little point in reading any of the documentation. If you’re in, you’re in. That’s the main thing. Oh, and Uncle Sam loves you with all his heart.
I believe that the Church is bored because it has lost its vision. Or at least minimized its vision with an emphasis on introspection and individualism. I suggest two ways to motivate our congregations to a fresh curiosity and passion:
- We need to understand what we are saved from
If salvation is all about heaven and hell, the world has become a giant waiting room. Boring. If our salvation is about being delivered from a kingdom of darkness and all of its dysfunction (ignorance, selfishness, manipulation, abuse, etc.) then we have plenty to keep us engaged day after day.
- We need to understand what we are saved for
What is God’s ideal for humanity? What are we supposed to look like individually? What are we supposed to look like as a unit? What is God doing in the world, and how can we get involved?
These are a couple of my suggestions, but what do you think? Why are we so darn bored? A lack of discipline? Distractions? Our pastors? Our selfish, media-crazed culture? Or do you disagree with my premise to begin with?