Recently, I was asked the question, “What do you tell people who are bored with church, ministry, or even Christian life?”
Maybe I should ask you the question, “Have you become bored with church, ministry, or Christian life?”
There is a phrase children learn from stories: “they lived happily ever after”. The Christian life, and everything after, is often not very “happy ever after.” Why not?
Everything done as “ministry to God” must be for the love of Christ. You must fall in love with Jesus- forever! There is absolutely no other valid reason for any church involvement or Christian activity.
Well, there are other reasons… they are just not acceptable to God.
Ministry to God has 2 distinct aspects. First there is ministry TO God, such as prayer and worship. Then there is ministry FOR God, which is man-ward- that we call service or ministry activity. We separate them for definition purposes but Biblically there is no difference. Everything in a Christian’s life is about God.
There is no separation between these two. Ministry to God in worship and prayer is lived out through service. The motive for service or ministry is the same as for worship and prayer. We love God, I might add, with all our heart, mind, and soul…as Jesus defined it.
To live a life where everything is about God is to show the world that “Jesus is Lord”.
He owns me. I’m dedicated to Him. I love God. I live for Him. I will do anything I can to help Him or His kingdom.
Those few lines express the Lordship of Christ in my life.
If these words do not express your life too, then Jesus is not Lord of your life in any practical way and- yes! boredom is just around the corner.
Interestingly, ministry is never to be a mere human activity. It was always meant to be motivated and empowered by the Holy Spirit- this is a joint operation. The New Testament church prayed and worshipped and then went out and changed the world!
From time to time I come across Christian leaders and workers who are bored with ministry. Here’s their whining refrain… “I need a change, I don’t get anything out of this any more. It’s all the same dull old stuff…I am bored with it all…..”
Some of this is due to the spirit of the age. The universal spirit of restlessness has overtaken mankind. Humans are restless, much like children with new toys. Quickly tired of them. New technology. Television commercials every 10 minutes. In and out of relationships. Marriage commitments in decline. Some even express boredom with their wife or husband- (as if you marry to be excited all the time). Sex is available without commitment, almost at an animal level. Sorry to say, this state of affairs (pun intended) exists even among some Christians.
The spirit of the time is restlessness. It is anti-commitment, anti-love, anti-God, anti-humility, anti-service. In fact, service is now an industry, not a function of a heart full of decency and love!
All of the above may explain some reasons for boredom.
Fundamental to boredom and restlessness is “misguided spirituality”. Loving God is the basis for loving people. Worship of God is the basis for serving people. If you do it “unto one of the least of these, you do it to me…” Jesus said. All service communicated through love for Christ is supernaturally effective, because that kind of love is only possible empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Bring truly alive is having a living, relevant relationship with God. If you are bored with service, ministry, church, or the pastor, I can say with about 99.9% certainty that you have left your first love for Christ. Somewhere in your life you have separated what you do for people and the church with what you do for the love of Jesus. Therein is the problem.
“A new church will certainly help…” you might say.
Really? In what way? Oh, it will allow you to keep your eyes off of the real problem for a little while longer. You can become engaged in newness again- remember the spirit of the age – restlessness? Shifting churches from time to time is excellent at keeping the real demons at bay.
However, eventually you just won’t find a church that does it for you and you’ll start skipping and slipping and missing and eventually the missing and slipping and skipping is more than the attending and then…..the honeymoon is over. You never even saw it coming! You blamed everyone else for how you felt and now it’s only you and maybe a few other disgruntled folks who feel the same.
Back to the point. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Rhetorical question! Obviously no one and nothing! He never stops loving! So if our love, passion and joy has depleted, then who left whom?
Brother, sister, watch that boredom… it’s the first sign of misguided spirituality.
The answer is to turn back to God with all your heart. Take a day or week or a year off to pray and read your Bible and fall in love with Jesus all over again.
Run to God before you become a statistic!
Remember: true love knows no boredom. It is possible to live happily ever after- with Jesus!