Sunday, April 21, 2024

But you won't what?

I read a great deal and write notes and then cannot recall where the little phrases which I wrote down actually came from.  Today is one of those days.  It is a great line for those who find worship boring.  Apparently the context was someone who was gung ho on Jesus but found most worship boring and so had stopped attending church.  In spite of this he insisted that he would gladly die for Jesus -- so deep was his faith and commitment.  But the responder asked why he would be willing to die for Jesus but refused to be bored for Him.  Yup.  Worth a laugh there but it is the kind of nervous laugh that hits you where you live.

We love action.  We love to be engaged in doing things.  We love to be the judges of what is true, relevant, and important.  What we do not love is waiting.  We do not want to wait on anyone and not even the Lord.  Going through Acts with a Bible study we were struck at the length of Paul's preaching -- well into the night.  That would never work here.  Sunday fits a schedule block.  It cannot go past its borders or it will infringe upon something else on our schedules.  Certainly those with small children could not have been expected to stay because responsible parenting means you get your kids home and tucked into bed at a reasonable hour.  But the real issue is that it would take an exceptional communicator to hold our attention for that long and either Paul was one and pastors today are not or they had nothing better to do.  In any case, it would not work here.

I get that from time to time and I expect every pastor does.  Our worship services are seldom less than 75 minutes and we do not have cup holders in the pew for a caffeine fix along the way.  My sermons are generally about 15 minutes and some longer.  Worship is an investment.  It is an investment of your time, of your attention, of your energy, and of your commitment.  Worship can seem boring in comparison to an action movie or a video game or even something that we find interesting but the rest of the world does not.  The problem is not making worship interesting.  The problem is working on the self-control to pay attention to what is taking place.

We have endeavored to make worship as painless as possible -- you can pick and choose a style that fits you, watch it at home in your pajamas, drink coffee or soda, exit for bathroom breaks, mute the sound, and surf the options like every other entertainment choice.  What these choices have not done is increased the numbers of the faithful or worship attendance overall.  For those who are quick to protest my judgement, I would suggest you look at the statistics and find out just how long your online viewers are actually watching.  My guess is that only a small percentage watch it all, about a third watch a significant chunk, and the rest are there for a few minutes and then gone.  We love Jesus but apparently we do not love Him enough to be bored. 

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