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Are We Boring?  

The young man was spiritually open.  Though he’d come from a Hindu background, he actually attended a Bible preaching church for several weeks, then wrote down this assessment:

“The church did not make a favorable impression on me. The sermons seemed to be uninspiring. The congregation did not strike me as being particularly religious. Here, at times, I would involuntarily doze. I was ashamed, but some of my neighbors, who were in no better case, lightened the shame. I could not go on long like this, and soon gave up attending the service.”

In other words, this guy was bored. Flat out bored. Who was he? The man who eventually became the leader of one-fifth of the world’s population: Mahatma Gandhi.

His encounter with boredom causes me to wonder: What about us?  What about our churches?  Are they boring?  I can hear the clank of a thousand defensive shields going up:

  • “Hey!  My pastor works very hard on his messages.  Besides, nobody bats a thousand!”
  • Must we be entertainers?  This is a church service, not a theater production!”
  • “We do the best we can with what we’ve got.”

I do not argue against any of those statements. But still I ask —are we boring people?  How often do we even dare to ask the question?  Apparently not often enough.  I suspect that because we love Jesus and love the Word and love our churches, we presume others will as well—and we leave it at that. 

Could it be that one reason Millennials and others are turning their backs on the church is because we are boring? Let us remember that while Jesus Christ taught profound truth and expounded on the deep tenets of Scripture, He was never boring. Even His worst critics never charged Jesus with being boring.

So where are the survey tools that help us recognize the boredom factor in our worship services?  Where is the seminary course titled, “How to Keep the Wolf of Boredom from Attacking Your Flock?” 

That we do not seem to offer much by way of self-assessment may evidence an arrogance that sees no problem.  We appear satisfied that in encouraging pastors to tell a few stories now and then—maybe a joke at the front end of a sermon—all is well.

I am not saying the church should have the laughter of a comedy club, the intensity of an action film, or the glitz of a star-studded music show.

But…can’t we at least not be boring?  Please?  For heaven’s sake?

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016