I got the chance over Christmas vacation to visit my in-law’s church. I was blown away by a recent remodel and new media purchases. They got everything now from HD projectors, advanced motion lights, stage design, and a reworked service. It’s a church of 2,200ish and they’ve use four worship centers.
One thing they didn’t have was any passion. Sure, the ministers and worship band were full of energy, but sitting in the crowd was a different story. Before going to church that morning, I was really excited to worship (I only get to visit other churches twice a year) with fellow believers. To be truthful, Sunday was a “family” letdown. God was there. I heard His voice, felt His presence, and so forth. What I didn’t feel was everyone else. Half way through the second worship service, I realized that emotionally I was being brought down too. I tried to close my eyes, focus more, and even pray while I was singing, but I couldn’t escape the crowd mood.
I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. That’s it. The title of that books sums it up. I’ve been preaching for the past several weeks on Holy transformation and a powerful God who wants to invade our lives for His goodness. I’ve talked about the early church in Bible studies and how they worshipped with joy. I’ve spent several small group lessons on the significance of the work of Jesus on the cross and how that opens us up to communication with God. Yet, I was totally bummed out Sunday.
For the sake of our outreach, I hope we learn how to worship anew. Who wants to be a Christian and sit bored while other people sing? Who wants to be a Christian to live by rules? Who wants to have all the new worship toys and have them go to waste? Without Holy transformation, being a Christian stinks. Maybe these people were just sleepy–probably not.