Years ago I was on the way home from church with my parents, after moving to a new city. I commented that the pastor’s sermon was harder to listen to than the pastor we’d had in our old town. My dad said, “Actually, this pastor’s sermons are less flashy, but I learn more.”
From that Sunday on, I started listening to see if I agreed. And, sure enough! My dad was right. I was college age at the time, and I can honestly say, I have never fallen asleep during a sermon since.
No, I’m not patting myself on the back. I’m just sharing with you the secret my dad shared with me: It’s all about content. I don’t go to church to be entertained. Doesn’t the idea of “entertainment” in church sound creepy, when you think about it?
So why do we go to church?
For one thing, we go to church to say we’re sorry for our sins and ask for forgiveness. I can’t say that’s exciting, but neither is it boring. It can’t fit into categories like that at all, when you really think about it.
We also go to church to learn more about God. It’s true, we’ve all had teachers who were more captivating than others. But then, going to class is really about mastering the material. Whether I passed or failed a class in school, it was mostly about me, the student – how hard I worked, how well I paid attention. And don’t we want to learn about God? It’s a pretty important subject to master!
But church is about more than putting knowledge into our heads, it’s also about getting food for our souls. When it comes to feeding your body, certainly some foods are more exciting than others. A Culver’s Butterburger thrills me! Green beans…not so much. I eat both, but fortunately I eat more beans than I do Butterburgers. Why? Because in the long run, it’s a lot healthier for my heart (and waistline)!
The same is true of the spiritual food I need to get at church. I need to hear from God that I have sinned. Even more, I need to hear from God what my Savior has done for me, and that through faith in Jesus I am forgiven. I need to be built back up spiritually after a bruising week. I also need to be equipped to face the coming week’s challenges.
Saying church is boring, is kind of like saying talking to mom and getting a hug from her is boring. Doesn’t that adjective seem out of place? Excitement is for Friday night. Forgiveness and Jesus’ love are what Sunday morning is all about.