Is your church boring?
When churches stopped meeting together and resorted to online services as a result of the pandemic, I couldn't have been more relieved. I now had a very feasible reason for not going to church and better yet, I could do it free from the worry that I would be setting a bad example for my kids. Truth told, I hadn't had a truly enriching church experience in over 10 years, at home and abroad. It was clear it wasn't a denominational issue, a cultural or even leadership problem, because since I have been saved, I have attended a variety of churches in a number of countries and I found they all had things in common. I'm not talking about the pillars of the faith, I'm talking about the format of the service, the programs and 'kids work'. It seems no matter what church you attend, or where in the world it is, many churches have rigorous scheduling for all aspects of the service - notices, worship, teaching, prayer, coffee and biscuits. The order of which may change but that's the Christian experience on a Sunday by and large. And I now feel free to admit that it's boring and here's the daring part, I believe God finds it boring too. After all, wouldn't he show up in our services more often otherwise?
I started praying earnestly and honestly about it. How can someone like myself who loves the Lord, is a relatively mature Christian who reads the bible and prays regularly find church so incredibly dull? What is wrong with me? Doesn't the book of Hebrew's warn about not meeting together as believers? It wasn't long before I received an answer and the answer is much bigger than me, that's for sure.
I soon realised after confessing to friends how I felt about not going to church that I wasn't alone. It was startling to hear how many other strong believers shared the same relief that the pandemic brought in relation to attending church. They would say things like 'I will struggle to go back when the time comes' and 'I'm actually quite enjoying the break from church'. Who knew?! So it wasn't just me, it was a widespread sentiment and again, these folks were strong believers, people I admire in the faith.
So what did God say. Well I need to speak prophetically here and of course I expect you to pray and use discernment as you read it.
The Lord is shaking the world and all that can be shaken including His church. The church as we have made it has been redundant for many years, set in its ways, ineffectual and in self deception. Buildings and walls will no longer contain His people, who have become inward looking and occupied with their own activities and routines. Pastors and leaders have become salaried employees. Church has become a career option. Congregations will shrink massively because the pandemic has brought realisation to many that the way of doing church is not fulfilling them. Church leaders will need to find alternative means to support themselves financially. Believers who have been revitalised in their relationship with the Father because of the pandemic will never want to go backwards and sit in a pew; sing when it's time to sing, sit when it's time to sit and listen when it's time to listen and all of it done under the guise of Christian worship. I have called you to worship me in spirit and in truth. Church pastors have become obsessed with teaching. Pastoral care and Pentecost revivals have been replaced with incessant teaching because it is easy and safe. Pastors have for too long hidden behind pulpits to teach and in doing so disparaged my many gifts. Wake up. Believers do not need any more teaching. The world outside needs the power of God to save in these last days and for that all believers are responsible. The Lord will close many churches which have for too long served as bunkers and barricades, hiding you from the world and at the same time giving you a sense of religiosity. No sinner cares if you attend church, but when my children will go out into the world and seek to save the lost you will face opposition. Don't you see the enemy has had you where he wants you? In church, doing your own thing and all the while convincing yourself that I am being glorified because you have opened up a bible and given up some of your time? The lost do not care. People will continue to cling to the old ways of doing things and will speak of those who stop attending Sunday services as the fallen away. But for those who live and move and have their being in me, they will find revival of many kinds.
The Lord is blowing through his church to scatter His people, will you let go and let God or cling to the former things?
Pic 1. The church when effective
Pic 2. The church as we made it
Pic 3. The church now
Please pray and share your comments.
Guest Blogger Marcus Doherty