Thursday, June 30, 2016
They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. Romans 1:25(NLT)
Sometimes I think I’ll simply explode if I read one more bit of advice from the experts on how to grow a church with techniques designed to grab the attention of people who don’t like church; it’s a kind of tripe that is superficial (at best) or (at worst) heresy!
And then I read some more. Here’s one that nailed me this morning, about attracting people who don’t go to church:
"Spiritual-but-not-religious folks are not anti-group, anti-growth or anti-God. They are anti-boredom. There are too many other options out there to waste time on experiences that don’t deliver." — Rebekah Simon-Peter
Anti-boredom! Of course we are being urged to amp-up our game, to make our worship experience more energetic and relevant, so the show will attract attenders who are spiritual-but-not-religious.
[Insert gag reflex here]
Borrowing a thought many others have used previously, I’ve been laboring under the assumption that genuine worship is not an experience to excite the human, but rather an offering of praise, adoration and fealty towards the only One who IS worthy. God is the audience and we who gather are the players.
Worship is not a show for the ungodly. Worship is our show-up time to be inspected by God, and to continue to grow our lifetime commitment to bring glory, honor and praise to our Creator and Sustainer of life.
If there is a performance, it is in how well our hearts are turned towards heaven, and not how exciting and titillating we can arrange things to please people who are after the next level of experience.
Frankly, if it’s got to be that, count me a hopelessly-less-than-acceptable-in-the-new-millennium-fossilized-dinosaur, who isn’t about pleasing those who disdain simple worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This kind of makes me out-of-step with the current generation’s fascination with “experience”. And for that I will probably be dismissed and labeled religious-but-not-spiritual.
So be it.
When you go to church this weekend (if you’re not among the bored who opt for one of the many options that doesn’t include God), it would be a healthy step of preparation for worship to check why you’re going.
If you’re going to see the show, stay home; there's enough on TV to keep you entertained!
If it is to present yourself, your gift and your allegiance to an Almighty God and report for service…well, I can’t say the “experience” will deliver, but I can tell you God will be ready to receive your worship and speak to your heart about your place in His Kingdom!