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Sunday Morning Boredom


This is not true with everyone but lately I hear more and more people telling me that they’re finding themselves disinterested in the  traditional Sunday morning meeting of the church. Now these people aren’t back-sliders.  They are genuine in their desire to follow Jesus which seems to be the source of  their boredom.         


Generally speaking the traditional Sunday morning meeting is pretty much spectator orientated.  Most of the people attending the gathering sit and watch a few people on the platform, much like you would at a music concert. The problem with this scenario is that it’s not really New Testament thinking in my opinion.


I’ve talked about 1 Corinthians 14 before so I won’t elaborate on that now, but that chapter is the only chapter in the New Testament dedicated to what a meeting of the saints should look like, so it’s worth looking into.  It’s just a little interesting to me that very few of our Sunday meetings today actually look like 1 Cor.  14.    


Beyond Paul’s instructions in 1 Cor. 14 the New Testament is about “doing”, not about “sitting”. Jesus said,  “go and disciple”.  (Mat. 28:19)  He didn’t say, “sit around and hope for disciples”. 


Jesus also said, “you shall be witnesses when the Holy Spirit comes on you”. (Acts 1:8)  He didn’t say, “you will be called witnesses …”.  Being “called” a witness and “living the life of a witness” are two completely different things.  


You might say the Bible is more of a book of verbs than it is a book of nouns.  We as Christians tend to like formalizing and structuralizing verbs into nouns.  I think we’ve done this with our typical Sunday morning service.  Our Protestant, including Evangelical Sunday meetings is a direct descendant of Martin Luther’s meetings.  Although Luther brought some needed changes to the church, he left the Sunday morning meeting pretty much unchanged from the Catholic system, with a few minor exceptions.  Nothing much has really changed since then so our Sunday meetings today, whether Evangelical or non-Evangelical looks more like a 15th century Protestant/Catholic service than a 1 Cor. 14 gathering.            


So in my thinking we’ve formalized and structuralized 1 Cor. 14 pretty much out of existence.   Instead of being actively involved, we passively sit and watch, which is not what the Body of Christ is all about.  Notice the context of 1 Cor. 14 is all about the Body of Christ functioning properly. I’m glad my body parts don’t just sit around and admire each other.  I can’t imagine my heart taking a time out to watch my lungs breathe.  Or, the muscles in my arms telling my brain to hold off with the next few signals to move while it sits and watches blood flow through a nearby vein. 


For those people who sincerely want to follow Jesus they want to be involved in His work.  They don’t really want to sit and watch others.  That’s why some are getting restless in their pews.  For the most part simply sitting goes against the grain of  New Testament thinking.  It also  hinders the work of the Holy Spirit who calls us to action.       


I know I’ve generalized to a certain extent and there are other comments that should be made, but it would be worth rethinking our Sunday morning meeting, understanding the Scripture speaks of such a meeting as a place for the Body of Christ to function as it should.  And for those who are comfortable sitting and watching, you might want to stop and think about why you feel this comfort. And of course what we can’t do without on a Sunday morning is the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit.  If Jesus isn’t involved, we might as well stay home and sleep because there’s a good chance we’ll fall asleep in the meeting anyway.   


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