If there’s one thing we as Christians do well it is criticise our church services. Not always negatively but we like to think about them, what was good, what was bad, and what was just downright bizarre!! If we’re being good with think in terms of what brought us nearer to God and what we didn’t find helpful in our walk. We greet the pastor at the door and thank him for a good sermon, which normally means that, for once, we agreed with what he said! We discuss the service over Sunday lunch and decide what we would have said or which hymns we would have chosen.
This is a little bit tongue in cheek but you get what I mean.
The more I have thought about church services and sermons and worship etc. I’ve discovered that it’s all about me! I used to believe that a good, well thought out, service would bring me closer to God. A poor sermon was the fault of the pastor and would, in no way, help me in my journey of faith. Now I believe it is all to do with my attitude, my openness, my level of concentration, my expectation, my focus, my willingness to listen and hear. I believe that God can speak to me through anything. I know he can speak to me through his creation. I know he can speak to me in the silence. He can speak to me in the mundane and in the normal. So, why can’t he speak to me through a dull sermon or a slow and plodding hymn?
If I go to church in the right way God will speak to me through anything. If I go to church in the wrong way the best sermon in the world could easily pass me by. It’s not about what the worship team or pastor puts into the service it’s about what I’m prepared to take out of it. I used to work for a church in Paris, France. It was an Anglican Church and during one of our AGMs someone became a Christian. There was no alter call and nobody preached the gospel but God spoke to that lady in the boring business of a church meeting. She was prepared to listen and had the right attitude. That day her life was changed. Can we find the right way to attend church? Are we prepared for God to speak to us in the normal and the mundane? Can we spend less time pulling the service apart and more time seeking God in the service? It’s not easy - some services are, for us, more conducive to drawing near to God. However, are we prepared to put the effort in during the times when it’s not so easy?