“I didn’t get anything out of worship today,” is a remark sometimes offered by disappointed church attendees.
These disgruntled “worshipers” soon find themselves relating to anyone who will listen to how awful the sermon was, how the song leader pitched the songs too high, the distractions by noisy children, and the general lack of inspiration they felt from the service.
Joe McKeever said such remarks are “like dry rot in a congregation…Like a termite infestation in the building…Like an epidemic afflicting the people of the Lord.” Unchecked, they will spread like a deadly virus.
Such complaints reflect a lack of understanding about what “going to church” really means. Worship is not about you. And me. Worship is about God. Exalting Him. Honoring Him. Giving Him praise.
While those conducting the service ought to do their very best in leading the minds and hearts of the congregation, it’s ultimately up to us individually to focus our minds upon the Lord and to worship Him. Neither the preacher, nor the pastors, nor the song leader can worship for me. It’s a choice that I make. Even when the service and the circumstances are less than ideal.
Furthermore, worship is a verb. An active verb. Worship is not something that is done to us. It’s something that we do. We are not mere spectators, seeking to be entertained. We come to participate. To be involved. And to be engaged.
If we walk away from a worship service feeling, “I didn’t get anything out it,” are we feeling the same way about our religion? Are we viewing Christianity as mere membership in a church that offers us material, social, or emotional benefits?
Do we come to worship only to get? Or to give?
Dee Bowman was right when he wrote, “The success of Christianity is not measured by what you get out of it, but by what it gets out of you.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman