10 Reasons Why Many Christians Rarely Experience True Worship

    Ever wondered why your faith doesn’t mean more to you than it does? Why so many professing believers’ lives seem no different than anyone else’s? Why a small group of elite Christians appear to really be “on fire” for Jesus? I mean, if God is so great, why aren’t of His own people more passionate about Him?

Good questions.

I know a lot of people who think of themselves as “Christian”. So do you. But other than a few moral standards and the fact that they occasionally attend a church, there’s not a huge contrast between them and their non-christian counterparts. Deep down inside, their hearts are just as empty, their families just as dysfunctional, their lives equally without direction and meaning.

So why are these modern-day disciples so mediocre? Why so bland? So uninteresting?

So B-O-R-I-N-G?

I suspect many factors contribute to this phenomenon, but here’s Ten Reasons you can let marinate in your mind:

1. While most Christians struggle with the challenges of life, many live defeated lives, never achieving the “more than conquerers” victory that Scripture claims is the normal experience of those who have been redeemed.

2. Many professing Christians simply stop growing after an initial burst of interest and enthusiasm. Bibles gather dust and heart-fires start burning point. As a result, the process of sanctification (becoming like Jesus) is often short-circuited, fueled by sin, Satan or self. These people end up as spiritual children living in adult bodies. Churches are FULL of these folks.

3. Many have never taken the time to really understand salvation – studying what actually took place at the cross, contemplating their dark, sinful condition and future outside of Christ, and learning to regularly bath in the infinitely deep ocean of God’s grace and love. Understanding how and why God saved you is the key to contentment and joy in life.

4. Most Christians have little clue about how great their Lord is. I mean, how could they? They rarely, if ever, crack open the only Book God wrote to reveal Himself to them. Ignorance of the mind-blowing truths in Scripture concerning who God is and how amazing His attributes are is a guaranteed one-way ticket to Bland Land. Bank on this: true theology and doctrine is never, ever boring. Rather, it infuses our hearts with awe and wonder, inspiring pure, explosive heart-worship.

5. Face it. We like comfort and often choose the path of least resistance when it comes to our faith. Living for Jesus is hard, and few American believers  have the lungs for the long, uphill race. So we rest comfortably by wayside, occasionally admiring those “Super Christians” who run by on their way to maturity.

6. We refuse to exercise faith in the daily challenges of life, and almost never branch out and trust God for something truly supernatural, especially if it could cost us a bundle. We treat sacrifice and suffering like tax season – with a sense of dread and avoidance. Fear rules many of our life decisions, not faith. Safety and security becomes our style, influencing everything from friends to finances. And that makes Heaven yawn…and grieve. 

7. We love the idea that God is loving and compassionate, but fail to grow past those sentimental attributes. Godly discernment, on the other hand, may lead us to actions that others may interpret as unloving. So we continue enabling people in their immaturity and sin – and do it all in the name of love. But in reality, hidden behind this “love” is simply a weak and impotent heart. Boring.

8. We ignore the direct application of God’s Infinitely-Wise Word where it really matters – on the job, at home, in our marriage and in our parenting. And we wonder why we’re so screwed up. We trust in ourselves because having faith seems to complicated and intangible. We settle for “what works” – expediency, pragmatism and peace. And when we do look for advice and counsel, it’s usually from sone just as messed up as we are. Logical?

9. The average American Christian checks into church 2x a month, way too little for it to ever have any real, life-changing impact on their lives. Like working out 2x a month, there is never any real progress or growth. Truthfully, there’s always a “good reason” to prioritize something else over gathering with your spiritual family – sleep, work, friends, fun, movies, sports on TV, etc.

10. Honestly, we want a God who entertains and serves us. We prefer that He act like we want Him to and at the time of our choosing. And when He fails to deliver or meet our expectations, we lose interest and become bored with His “ways”.

But what if…WHAT IF…you could reverse the above trends in the only life that really matters – YOURS?

Lukewarm Christians don’t mean that God Himself is boring. But it sure does scream that to the world. 

From where I sit, there appears to be 2 options available:

A. Get a new God.

B. Radically re-boot your understanding of Him and as a result, revolutionize your devotion to Jesus.

So what will you do? You can begin transforming your worship HERE.

7 Ways to Know You’re in the Right Church

 People often share with me their struggle to find the right church for them. Typically, these people are either unchurched or “formerly” churched, meaning they bailed on the idea years ago. Their reasons are varied, but include:

A) It was intellectually/spiritually uninteresting. “The pastor simply couldn’t hold my attention.”

B) It was shallow. “I got sick of ‘How To’ sermons and messages to make me feel good.”

C) It was too impersonal. “I got lost in the crowd and felt like cattle shuffling into the pen each week.”

D) It was too “entertaining”. “If I wanted a concert venue, I’d go see a real band perform. Plus, the pastor tries too hard to be funny and ‘hip’.”

E) It was small, but nobody there my age. “I had trouble connecting, and the people weren’t that friendly.” 

E) “I hate mornings. Period.”

mega-church-bus-from-sacred-sandwich

There are other reasons, of course. But those are some of the biggies I hear. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I left because those people were just too loving. They cared about me personally. The messages were just so biblical and relevant to my life, I had to leave!” 🙂

So what’s a person to do? Should you give up on church altogether? Just sit at home and worship God for 5 minutes and then go walk the dog? Keep in mind, there are no perfect churches, because after all, it’s just people coming together, right? It’s also not about how BIG or SMALL a church is. You can find community in a big church and you can stand in the corner alone and be ignored in a small church. That said, I understand the dilemma. But I still think its worth the long search. My wife and I attended a church while in grad school that gave us a chance to serve, but the pastor (though a great guy) was a sleeping pill in the pulpit. We weighed the options, and since it was temporary, stayed there. Another church we attended for a year had awesome preaching but was a bit too liturgical for my spiritual taste buds. They did the same ritual every week. But it was good for us at the time.

confused-girl“So what’s a girl like me to do?”

Obviously you don’t want to become a serial “church hopper”, either due to your inability to commit or your eternal search for that perfect place of worship. So here are a few things to think about. Seven ways you can know you’ve found the right church for you.

1. You gladly lay aside other (good) priorities and fun pursuits to faithfully be there each week.

2. You call them ‘family’ because that’s exactly what it feels like to you. You find yourself not “going to church” anymore but rather coming together with other believers out of a real need to do so.

3. You are excited and motivated to tell your friends (who need a church) about yours.

4. You look for ways to uniquely serve others in that body with your gifts and personality (doesn’t have to be in an official “ministry”, either).

5. You don’t think twice about regularly sacrificing a portion of the finances God has blessed you with, so that the work there can survive and thrive.

6. The “church service” truly enlightens, deepens and challenges you in your relationship with Christ.

7. You are confident that Jesus and His Word are honored above all else (programs, ministries, presentation, music, pastor, etc)

If you identify with these 7 things, then there’s a really good chance you’ve found your church home. If not, then keep looking. You’re in the wrong church. There’s a group of people out there who need you! There is a church for YOU! If you find yourself in a search right now, go beyond just “visiting” a church this Sunday. Stick around for a while to get the full effect. Give it time. Come back a few weeks.

Keep seeking God and go find your spiritual family this week!