Sunday, November 14, 2010
"Church is boring...it is sooooooo booorrriiiinnnnggg!" I remember saying those words as a teenager many, many times. I also remember when we would have week long revivals, which is how I learned how long eternity was, by my teenage calculations, having to go to church every single night seemed to last for an eternity. We went to church every Sunday morning and Sunday night, which explains the fascination I have today with the tv show "Bonanza". You see, every Monday morning during the first recess at school the guys would get together and talk about "Bonanza"...and Hoss and Little Joe, and Pa Cartwright...and I had nothing to contribute, because I had to go to church on Sunday nights, and that is when Bonanza came on. My response was always a depressing sounding, "I didn't get to see it...I had to go to church."
I could not think of any worse punishment than having to sit on a hard wooden pew (anyone remember those?), and listen to some "old" guy go on and on about stuff that I felt had no application to me or to my life at the time. This is why I know God has a sense of humor...because you fast forward several years and here I am...the "old" guy that other people listen to now.
Of course, my opinion of church has changed over the years as well. I not only enjoy, but look forward to meeting and worshiping with my brothers and sisters every chance I get! I love to hear preachers and teachers break open the Word of God and how it is active and living and breathing! I no longer see church as something I HAVE to go to, now I see it as something I GET to go to!
For some reading this, maybe you still find church boring. Don't feel bad...I get it. As I grew from childhood to my teenage years and into adulthood, nothing much changed...I still found church boring. But what I have learned through the years is that it is not church that is boring...it is us. God (and His Word) are magnificent, spectacular, awesome, and more exciting than we can imagine...but we settle for so much less and because we do, church becomes boring.
This week I ran across some principles that if you will apply them to your life, I believe you will leave "boring" church behind you, and enter into a worship service and time of teaching, preaching and learning that will not only change your life, but change the life of your church. My thanks and appreciation go out to Greg Laurie for these nine listener principles.
1. Support your pastor with prayer before and after the message.
2. Bring your Bible.
3. If you know the Scripture passage in advance, read it and become familiar with it.
4. Prepare your heart with prayer to accept God's Word and that you would be open to its truth.
5. Look for ways that you will use the key Scripture or ideas in your life in the next week.
6. Seek to hear the truth for your life, not someone else's life.
7. Listen carefully and think how you would share this message with someone else. Could you summarize the message clearly?
8. Take careful notes. Don't assume you will remember everything that is said. Also, write down the scripture reerences to look up later.
9. Trust God for the results in your life.
Doing what I can to eliminate boring church services forever,