Answer: First of all, I’m not going to say that you should keep going. But I will tell you a few things that might sound as if that’s what I’m saying.
Instead, why don’t you try going to church for the first time? What I mean by that is to go with everything that you have, not just walk into a building and plop down on a pew. Get involved!
Jesus quoted the Old Testament prophet Isaiah (is that boring?) when He said, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings” (Matthew 15:8, 9, NLT).*
Here were people who lacked life because they were just going through the motions. Jesus called such worship “a farce.” The same kind of thing can be true today. So, instead of just doing the same ol’ thing at church, try giving it all you’ve got.
What I’m getting at is that worship takes everything you have; it’s a total involvement experience. If you treat it like a form of entertainment, where you can channel surf or switch to a new Internet site or tune out with your iPod or some other form of escape, you’re missing what worship is about.
When Jesus interacted with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, she asked Him about going to the right place for church. She wondered why the Jews insisted on Jerusalem, while the Samaritans chose another spot, Mount Gerizim. Jesus told her, “The time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23, 24, NLT).
Boredom isn’t the issue! It’s not a matter of “Hey, I’m bored; I think I’ll quit.” The thing that counts is getting your spirit—your inner core, who you really are, the deepest part of you—into contact with the Source of Life for the Universe. So here are two ways to do that.
1. Ask yourself, Do I go to church to be entertained, or to worship the Spirit with my spirit? You won’t be able to do both. Another way of asking the same question is, Do you go to church to get something, or to give something? Ironically, if you go to get something, you probably won’t get it! Yet, if you go to give something, you end up getting it!
2. Get involved. That’s what it takes for your spirit to worship. If a person prays out loud for the congregation, and you don’t understand what the person’s talking about, or if they take too long, add your silent prayer to this prayer time. If the Scripture reading makes no sense to you, read the verses before and after it. And then read the passage again (and again, and again). If the music isn’t a style you prefer, broaden your tastes instead of scowling and withdrawing. When the pastor preaches, focus on what’s being said. Your mind can think faster than a person can talk, so as you focus, add all kinds of thoughts, questions, interpretations, prayers, and answers to what the preacher says.
You can worship all by yourself rather than during a regular church service. But there’s something extra to worship when more people get involved and with their spirits also worship the Spirit. If you can get a bunch of your friends to join you by getting involved at a worship session at your church, great things can happen!
But if you just go to church to hang out with friends, you might as well be watching a video or DVD of some TV preacher. You can eat popcorn, talk with your friends, or even be bored. But you won’t be worshipping.
*Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.