One Sunday morning the pastor of the church noticed a little boy standing in the foyer of their church. The boy was staring up at a large plaque on the wall. Small American flags were mounted on either side of it. The boy has been staring at the plaque for some tim. So the pastor walked up to him, put his arm around his shoulders, and said, “Good morning, young man.”
“Good morning, Pastor,” the boy was still focused on that plaque with all those little flags. “Pastor, what is this plaque?”
“Well, son, it’s a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.” Soberly, they just stood there together staring at the large plaque.
Finally, in a voice barely audible and trembling with fear, the boy asked, “Which service, Pastor? Morning or evening?”
What’s really sad is that, more than likely, you got that joke before you read the punch line. Unfortunately, the reason it makes people laugh is because it highlights a reality. Our services are killing us. They are boring, uninspiring, an embarrassment. Now, don’t get me wrong – I have given over 40 years of my life to the Church. But, there are times even I didn’t want to be in the services. I even led some of those services. There were times when I was bored and seriously uninspired and could not believe what was happening during the worship and the teaching time. Still happens today on occasion as I travel to various churches in nations around the world and occasionally have opportunity to sit and listen and not be ministering.
On my web site there is a resource for leaders of churches – discussing ways to definitely improve your Sunday morning (and evening) experience. From the many services I have attended over the years and from the many books I am currently reading on the subject of revitalizing the church in our world today – a number of ways to improve things so that we will not be hesitant to invite our friends and neighbors to attend our church with us. Look in the resourse section for a teaching on ways to improve your Sunday experience. (Sorry for the commercial)
We can do better. We must do better. We have what the world needs; we have good news; we have the answers to all of life’s problems; our message brings hope and healing to people… and yet, unless we can celebrate this in a way that is exciting, dynamic, inviting, and welcoming no one will even know.
It is time to change the way we “do church.”