Monday, February 12, 2007

Is Worship Boring?

Maybe you can recall when you where 5 years old telling your mom or dad that you didn't want to go to church because it was "boring". As you got older as a teenager you didn't want to go to church and hear some old man quote thee's and thou's, making you feel like you where never good enough to get to heaven anyway. Boring. So what. Who cares. How does this church stuff apply to my life? Right. Maybe you have been there. Maybe you are there right now. Are we as a Church right there right now. Are we constantly changing thing because we find thing dull and boring. Do we try to spice things up then only after a while we then find them boring once again?You can find many book on how to make worship not so boring. What does it say about our culture? Our churches when we find worship boring? When we constantly change the way we do worship. I have nothing wrong with change if it needs to be change and the change is Biblical and authorized by God and Spirit lead. What is worship really about? Who is the focus? Who is the center? If done with the right heart and focus should it be boring? Are we too worried about what people are going to think about our worship services that we forget about what it is all about?

I believe our worship must be focused up on God. He is the reason we worship. If we don't the rocks are going to cry out!
We must worship in "Spirit" and "Truth". It means to mean that must worship withall of our heart, soul, strength, mind, and Biblically. Our message must but applicable. It must be applied to the life of the Christian. What does that mean to you?
I believe as we worship God believers will leave challenged, encouraged, strengthened, equipted, determined, convicted, moved, etc.

What do you think about any of this?
Share your thoughts.


Blogger Paula Harrington said...

I think that we are so used to being entertained that we are integrating entertainment into our worship to please ourselves. Our worship to God should be God-centered and God-directed. We're focusing too much on what we want. That's the main reason for praise teams, to make us sound better. Does God care how we sound? Who are we wanting to impress-God, ourselves, or visitors? We need to focus on bringing people to Christ by learning and teaching the Bible and not seeing what we can do for entertainment purposes. Fads will fanish. Scripture tells us that the Word of God is forever Mark 13:31 & I Pet 24, 25

Just my two cents worth :)

5:40 PM  
Blogger Neva said...

Thanks for stopping by Dancing in the Light. Appreciated your comments.
I enjoyed this post. I, like you, am not opposed to change if it needs to happen but I think we have become so addicted to entertainment, to adrenalin rushing, fast paced, excitement in every aspect of our lives that it gradually takes more and more to give us the rush we need. We are a society of junkies. Too bad we can't just realize we are really craving Jesus and if we serve Him, and lead others to Him, we get the biggest rush ever.


7:06 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

If the Bible is boring to us on Monday morning, then church will be boring to us on Sunday. If the parents are not "into" Jesus on the other six days, the kids will be bored at church. It just doesn't seem relevant because they don't see it being put into practice in their family.

Paul was amazed and deeply moved by God's gift (Rom 11:33-36 for example). If we had his understanding of what God has given us, I doubt we would ever be bored at church. If Jesus is real, and the message is real, and Jesus permeates our lives, it will not be boring. So it's all about faith. And faith comes by hearing the Word. If we'r bored, we need to get into our Bibles.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Kinney, I led worship at our congregation on Sunday and opened with this exact same sentiment.

When Isaiah encountered god in his vision (Is. 6) he left a changed man. When Moses encountered I Am at the burning bush, he also left a changed man. God rewards us with rejuvenation when we pour ourselves out before him in spiritual, true worship. It makes that hour-or-so on Sunday more meaningful and we scratch our heads when it's over wanting more.

Worship reinforces what we believe and encourages and fills us in the areas where we are weak. That kind of worship leads us into a week of worshipful service to God and others.

Thanks for the reminder this morning.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Benjamin Potter said...

"I believe our worship must be focused up on God."

In this you've said it all. What's the purpose of the Bible? To introduce man to God that we might glorify Him. What was the purpose of the Israelite community (being the chosen people of God)? To be a living, breathing bridge to the Living God. What's the purpose of the church? See the answer above. What's the point of worship? Drawing close to the Maker.

When Jesus becomes a fashion statement rather than a fanatic maker, worship follows suit. And so, we look for the latest trend when we decide to don our worship. It's shouldn't be what makes us feel good or look good, but what makes us look to God instead.

To answer the question: Is Worship Boring? No, No, a thousand times no--worship is exciting, exhilarating, and fun.

On the other hand, is what we do in our churches and call worship boring? I'd have to admit that all too often it is--but then when it is, it isn't worship.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Brian Nicklaus said...

preach on, preacherman

"Are we too worried about what people are going to think about our worship services that we forget about what it is all about?"

that is a HUGE question and chewing on that will help the church more than anything

10:17 AM  
Blogger pastor said...

When I hear a lot of “I”s I know we have lost the plot.

I don’t think change has much to do with this though. I heard a lot of the “I” word in my traditional church experience. “I” didn’t like the sermon, “I” can’t believe he said that during his prayer, “I” thought the songs dragged today. I’m not sure that entertainment is the real issue because just as many people keep change from happening because of “I” as any that want change to take place.

In the end I’m not sure that the issue is worship, whether you like it contemporary or traditional or somewhere in between. I think the issue is we have boiled worship down to how I felt on Sunday morning whether that be from the same old same old or something new and different.

I don’t think worship of the Living God is that simple.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

Preacher, great post.

I think the church's constant challenge is making the Gospel's message relevant in a quickly changing culture.

I got a book for Christmas that I'm yet to start. It's called Why Men Hate Church. It sounds like a very interesting concept, somewhat like John Eldridge's Wild At Heart.

Take care!

10:45 AM  
Blogger Trey Morgan said...

I think the only place there should be boring churches is in Boring, Oregon where I've identified, with the help of Google, that there are actually 25 Boring churches.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Wade Tannehill said...

Part of me agrees with everything everyone has said so far. Yes, the churches are far too consumer driven. Many cosmetic changes have been employed to make the church appear relevant and hopefully attract newcomers.

Alan is right. If the Bible is boring on Monday then church will be boring on Sunday. I can name some people who were bored with a traditional worship style and now they are bored with a contemporary style. It has to do with whether your heart is really into it.

Nor have cosmetic changes really been the determiner of church growth. Traditional churches are dying and contemporary churches are dying. Traditional churches are growing and contemporary churches are growing. Worship style is not the cure all. I think commitment on the part of the membership is how the church grows. I do not believe that seeker driven worship is the answer. I think Christ centered worship is what's important. The church won't grow if the Christians don't grow.

All that being said, here is the other side of the coin. I am so weary of all the accusing fingers pointed at anyone who goes "contemporary" as if they are all shallow consumers.

To borrow a term from Lynn Anderson, the church needs to speak the heart language of the culture. I wasn't alive in the 1950s. I'm sorry, but 1950s melodies don't do much for me. And anyone who knows me will tell you I am not shallow. Stamps-Baxter just does not move me. The words of antiquated songs from the 1920s often leave me cold. And I know from talking to many "seekers" that they often refuse to give Churches of Christ a chance precisely because the songs drag and no one seems very enthusiastic.

It's not that all these people are just entertainment addicted. They just want a church that speaks their language in their modern vernacular with melodies that speak their heart language. They want a church that will help them get closer to God by simply hitting them where they live.

I agree with Paula that God doesn't care how we sound. But if we're leading others in worship, God deserves our very best. The traditionalists are often just as consumer driven as the contemporary folks. It's often about what I want on both sides. I have often argued for eclectic worship, but I don't get many takers.

At any rate, there are some very good people who worship in the contemporary vein. Let's not write them all off as shallow and consumer driven. Quite frankly, many of the contemporary songs are far more vertical as they lead us in addressing God, while much of the early 20th century hymns merely sang the praises of the Christian life. Nothing wrong with the Christian life but we need to be praising God.

While I don't believe in being seeker driven, we had better be seeker sensitive. Otherwise, these visitors will be going to the church down the street that speaks their language. Don't expect people who aren't versed in Scripture to form an initial impression based on what we teach. All they have to go on is how they feel when they come. If we can reach into their hearts we are getting somewhere. Worship that is overly antiquated will merely alienate them. Just as the contemporaries should not be entertaiment driven, nor should the traditionalists be alienating an entire segment of the culture for the sake of their own selfish tastes and preferences.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

I think this sums it up:

1Co 14:26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.

It's interesting that we are told to speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph 5:19). The purpose of the singing is to strengthen the church.

I actually like the Stamps-Baxter songs and other older hymns a lot. So when you're singing one of those, you can feel great that you are strengthening and encouraging folks like me. And when we sing the contemporary songs, I'll feel great that I am helping to strengthen and encourage the folks who prefer that style. It's not all about me, or any other individual. It's about one another.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Wade Tannehill said...


Lest I be misunderstood, that was actually the point I was making. We have no right to alienate anyone, but we should strengthen and encourage as many as possible. That's why I argue for a worship experience that incoporates Charles Wesley, Stamps-Baxter, and the newer stuff all in the same assembly.

But more important than the style we sing is the words we sing. I think we should review and evaluate our hymn selections for each assembly and make sure we're singing plenty of songs that are directed toward God so that we're not just singing about ourselves all the time.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

People who live 6 days a week as if God doesn't exist don't worship on the other day. Going through the motions does not make worship.

Not necessarily what we teach, but much of what we practice would lead one to believe that a person who can sing harmony, or carry a tune can't worship. Foolish huh?

A "worship" leader leads the singing; he does not lead the worship. Worship is more about the posture of the heart rather than the actions of the person.

Biblical worship is done "In Spirit and in truth". If the heart is prostate before the Lord, putting a check in the collection plate is just as much worship as any other thing one might do on a Sunday.

Last, Worship is first surrender to the absolute sovereignty of God and complete surrender to His will. What then follows is a life of worship, both in the assembly and out of it. We are not likely improve worship or diminish it by our choice of songs or how we sing them.

Grace and Peace,
Royce Ogle

1:01 AM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

I intended to say "can't" rather than "can" concerning singing in my previous comment. Big difference!


1:04 AM  
Blogger Ben Overby said...


Very good. Whatever worship is, it should never be boring. We need to pull Rev. 4 and 5 out of our bibles, light them with a match, and swallow them while they're still burning. If just reading about worship in those chapters won't do it, then maybe swallowing fire will!


1:27 PM  
Blogger Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

I do not consider being in the presence of my Abba boring. Now some of the singing and sermons ... that is a different story, :-)

Bobby Valentine

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