*Written on 6/8/15
Many Christians go to church on almost a weekly basis. Though many Christians do go to church, what is the main attitude and purpose that people have about going to church?
See, a lot of people are not that enthusiastic and willing to go to church. Most people end up going almost every week because they "have" to go because "God might not be pleased with them". Personally, I think that there are very few church goers who actually can't wait for church every week; people who wake up to their Sunday morning buzzers and pop right out of bed super excited for church. In other words, for most, Sunday mornings are just time for the “church routine thing” that they have done all their life. Basically most people don't make church their highlight of their week. Since some people go to church out of a "I better go" than "I am very excited to go" attitude, what do churches do about that?
Churches especially over the past two decades have been trying to find a solution in order to excite people about a church service. Often times, churches often try to make a service more fun and exciting by incorporating flashing lights, louder music, and try to almost water down church services and the message to make it “mild” for everyone.
Matt Walsh, a church overseer, masterfully sums up what churches try to do to their service.
“And this is the problem with Christianity in this country. Not just inside our church buildings, but everywhere. It often has no edge, no depth. No sense of its own ancient and epic history. There is no sacredness to it. No pain. No beauty. No reverence. Or I should say Christianity has all of those things, fundamentally and totally, but many modern Christians in every denomination have spent many years trying to blunt them or bury them under a thousand layers of icing and whipped cream and apathy.”
“Yet many of our fearless leaders, pastors, and pundits think this is, rather than the disease, the remedy. It’s the same remedy they’ve tried for half a century. As the problem gets worse, they don’t change the medication, they just keep upping the dosage. They tell us that in order to bring the sheep into the fold — especially the millennial sheep — Christianity must be as un-Christian as possible. It must be stripped it of its truth, of its sacredness, of its sacrifice, of its morality, of its tradition, of its history, of its hardships, of its joy, and whatever is left will be enough to, if not engage and excite people, at least not scare them away.”
After reading this quote, we can also assume that though changing and adjusting to modern day technology is not a bad thing, people are not looking forward to going to church to worship and learn from the message, but are excited for the ways they can be entertained. Hence, the main attraction and excitement of why people should go to a church shouldn't be the entertainment, but rather the message of the Gospel.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” See, the church should be a place where burdened and heavy laden people can find rest through the message of the Gospel. The church should be a place where theologically rich songs are sung. The church should be a place where God’s Word is boldly and unashamedly declared.
Often times, we find ourselves not motivated to go to church because we find ourselves attracted to the “extras” that a church has to offer. If a church does not keep innovating new and improved ways of entertainment, then we find church as being dull. Rather, we should focus on Jesus and His Word which never changes and never becomes old. If we and the church would forget all the additives that we add on to a church service and just solely “look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), we would find out that church would never ever be boring or monotonous because Jesus has and will always be anything but boring. When we look to Jesus and Him alone, nothing will ever be the same.
Seeing God Change Lives,
Matthew Reichenberger (20) is the Director of Ministry Development and a junior at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana