And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
What causes people to be bored in church? This is an age-old question, and congregations have struggled with it—or ignored it—for years. I’ve been to many different churches, and I can tell you what leaves me cold. First of all, it’s not being made to feel welcome. I don’t want people pouncing on me with a pitch for life-long membership. But it is nice to have someone tell me they’re glad I came. Secondly, I like to know what to expect. Some churches that don’t hand out bulletins, and give no explanation of what the service will be like. Members apparently know, but visitors are clueless. I don’t mind the big screens with the words for songs and the daily Scripture reading on them. But at least they could let me know if there will be communion, special music, or a baptism. A church my parents attended for a while had immersion baptism at the end of each service. I wanted to stay and observe, but my father had one foot in the car before the first person arrived in her white robe. Unlike me, he’d “been there and done that” as a kid, and he apparently saw no benefit in seeing new people brought to the Lord.
Another one for me is a sermon with no emotion in it. I’ve heard sermons read. I wasn’t allowed to do this in high school speech class, and I think seminary students might have already learned to speak without reading an entire text verbatim. I’ve heard sermons delivered in a monotone, and that worries me. How am I supposed to get excited about Jesus if the leader of the pack isn’t excited? Hebrews 10:24 cautions us to “consider how to provoke” each other into doing good deeds. I’ve been provoked in church a few times, but it had more to do with not being inspired. Church is a package deal, and we are all responsible for making our home church a good one. As members or leadership or clergy, let’s show some excitement for Jesus.
Lord, fill us with enthusiasm for You! Amen