When We Are in Church
Church’s are so diverse today in worship, doctrines, polity, and style. The world has all the varied forms and in cities, several of the variety of worship preferences can be found on any Sunday. No matter the style or setting, people in the seats are very much the same. The depth of faith and the grasp of spiritual truths makes a tremendous difference on what those in the seats are thinking and experiencing in the church service.
Through the hours each week of preparation for worship by the pastors planning for each aspect, their aspirations are to lead all present into the presence of God. Their hope is that the sound and lyrics of the music will prepare the minds for receiving the Biblical truths shared in the sermon. A pastor hopes that all present come with the specific intention of meeting God in ernest. If that is the case, then the result will lead to the transformation of the hearer’s mind, soul, and aspirations. Having met the LORD in a deeper way motivates hearers to make concrete changes that will positively impact others.
In our study of Scripture, we read how those that met Jesus were not the same following the encounter. Zacchaeus, the tax collector’s meeting Jesus resulted in his promise to return the money four-fold to those he had cheated. The blind man healed at Siloam told everyone that he could now see. I dare say the paralytic healed by being lowered through the roof never ever stopped telling others about the day he met Jesus and was given his life back again.
These things happened because of Jesus power to transform and man’s passionate focus to come to Jesus. Theirs was not a passive interest but a powerful desire to meet Him. The things that they had heard about Him gave them hope that “if” they could meet Him personally, they would be changed also. We want to believe that everyone in the worship service has their mind fully engaged on hearing the Scriptures explained to help them either come to know Christ or to become more like Christ as one of His followers.
Sadly, our minds are never fully focused on much for very long. Even those of us that have the finest of intentions are “prone to wander” mentally. Because our thoughts move through the brain continually from the time we awaken in the morning till the last conscious thought we have before going to sleep, random thoughts do not shut off just because we are in church. If anything, they intensify once we are still. So, contrary to thinking everyone is “right in step with the preacher” as he preaches, that is never true.
Recently, I found an article about some of what the average person is thinking about while the service is underway. Perhaps you will not be surprised by what’s going on “in church”. Here is what was learned in a survey taken some time ago of church folks’ thoughts during the worship service. Obviously, there is a vast disconnect between the minister and the minds of hearers!
- Did I turn the pot roast before I left?
- Will the person behind me ever hit the right note?
- 90 minutes until kickoff.
- Where are my car keys?
- How many people here have lost more hair than I have?
- I wonder if there are any doughnuts left in the church kitchen from our class fellowship?
- How many times are we going to repeat this praise song?
- I wonder if we will be late getting out today? (Copied).