Whatever happened to opening our Bibles in church, reading a passage of Scripture and oh, I don’t know…teaching it? Why have we resorted to video clips, drawing on stage, magic tricks, funny stories – anything but teaching the Bible?
When did God’s way become so wrong? At least that’s how we act or I see it. Jesus sat with people on beaches, near pools of water, on the steps of the temple and just talked. Now, granted I know he’s the Son of God and I’m sure his words were captivating coming straight from his mouth and all, but he simply talked. He didn’t pull out a fancy easel and draw silly illustrations. He didn’t hang a fancy sheet in the courtyard and play movie clips to gather the crowds. He simply spoke. His words still captivate today, if we’d just read them!
Now, I understand we have all this wonderful technology nowadays, but it seems that we’ve lost sight of the reason we gather for church. Why do we need strobe lights, thousands of dollars in stage lighting, fancy stage props? It seems to me that those things only distract us from meeting God.
I mean, if we walk away from church saying, “Wow! The band was really good today.” Don’t you think we’ve missed the mark?! As a music major I completely understand wanting to have quality music in our services, and I think we should (that’s for another post), but if the only good thing we have to say about church is in regards to the music, don’t you think we have bigger problems?
Or what about, “Good sermon.” “Nice message.” Is good and nice what it’s about? What about challenging, kicked my hiney, knocked me in the head with a 2×4 sermons? Where are those? Yes, they are uncomfortable to hear, but that’s what stretches us, molds us and shapes us into whom and what God wants us to be. And he wants us to be more like Him!!
I don’t want to be entertained at church. I want to be challenged and taught God’s Word. If I want to be entertained I would go to the movies or a concert. I want to have deep, koinonia fellowship with believers. Not small talk about the latest sporting event. I want to walk away in tears because I’m convicted and torn up inside. I want to fall to my knees in worship because my God is absolutely worthy ofALL I have andALL I am and the words of the song are so moving and powerful they shake my soul.
Lately I’ve noticed more and more churches using “tactics” to get people in the door. As I drive around town, almost every church has a new banner or marquee showing their new and/or upcoming series. They all have fancy names and great graphics. What ever happened to “Sunday: Romans 12”? Is the Bible not good enough anymore? Or do we just think we know better than God?
All too often, I find myself not “craving” God after a Sunday morning at church. I find myself thinking positive thoughts, not challenging, gut-wrenching, hit-you-in-the-core thoughts. And, that’s what I should be experiencing when I hear God’s word preached. I should be challenged and motivated to change my life-style. Not just changing a habit or routine. I want my entire life to be radically challenged and changed daily! But, that only comes from studying God’s word!
I’m not trying to start an uproar or a revolt. I am simply questioning our tactics. I understand “statistics” show that people come when the music is good, the preaching is dynamic and the kids’ programs are awesome. But, what does it matter if there is no content. No spiritual food. We will starve if we’re not fed both spiritually and physically. God designed us to crave Him. And the only way to continue craving Him is to read His Word and study it more!!
I will continue to pray for revival and for God’s word to be taught. I will continue to pray for that longing and craving of Him.
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