As someone who is in worship services in numerous churches on a regular basis (sometimes weekly, sometimes many times a week, and often 3 to 5 times a day when ministering overseas) I have to admit that a lot of services are fairly predictable (I know we don’y have a liturgy – but we really do), often seriously centered on us and not honoring to God, and downright boring. Come on now – be honest!
Something needs to change. God is not boring and so the way we represent Him and honor Him on a Sunday should not be boring either. Also – just a side comment – He is not weird, wacho, or flaky so the services and believers should not be either. We need to get a grip on regular, every day life and a grip on the One, True God and bring them together so that non-believers (we exist to win them to the Lord) find God exciting, dynamic and alive – and, may I suggest, find our churches to be the same. When church is creative, it helps to keep faith and the desire for God alive in believers and becomes mighty attractive to non-believers, especially those honestly seeking God. But, of course, some people will get mad if you are constantly changing things. They like sameness.
The problem with being predictable and doing the same thing each week is that it presents to people a wrong image of our God. The same was true is Jesus’ day and so He was known for His surprises and the fact that God continually invaded people’s lives through His life and ministry. Each day was different – each meeting was different. Sameness is not in God’s dictionary.
Yes, I hear you say, but if things are constantly and continually changing people will get mad. So what? Who are you trying to please? Welcome to Jesus’ world. It’s obvious that Jesus preferred their anger to allowing a polluted view of God to continue. Better some emotions rather than no emotions whatsoever. Church isn’t suppose to be a place of comfort and be without challenge. It is suppose to be a place that wakes the dead – and there are a few Christians with spiritual lives in that condition. They need us to worship, preach and pray in such a way as to wake the dead.
Church needs to reveal that God is still alive and working. If people get mad about that truth, so what. The church needs to be creative and innovative because God is. Being fresh and creative is not merely a good idea – it is our God-given assignment. It’s the church’s job. And, as a by-product, it will then grow because it will be dynamic, powerful, and attractive to non-believers just as Jesus was, is, and always will be.