BORING CHURCHES?

One of the most frequent reasons given for someone not attending church is because the services are boring. I think the only place there should be boring churches is in Boring, Oregon where I’ve found, with the help of Google, that there are actually 25 Boring churches.

Here are a few things that I believe may make services boring to some…

  • When we use big words or “churchy” words that some don’t understand.
  • When we make anything other than Jesus our focus.
  • We’re afraid to use humor.
  • In our sermons we don’t make any applications to everyday life.
  • When God’s Word isn’t served up hot and fresh.
  • When our sermons quote tons of scripture and never tell any stories.
  • When we preach about the Hittites, Perizzites or Jebusites instead of something a little more relevant today.
  • When our services go long. No one really has anything else to do anyway.
  • When we don’t use any visual stimulation like overheads, PowerPoint or object lessons.
  • When we feel like it’s our goal to only beat people up, never build people up.

So, give me some help on this one. What are some things you thing might make church services boring to some?

Subscribe / Share

Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
27 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Tim Archer says:

    I think the banishment of emotion from our services is another cause of boredom. Can you imagine the apostles taking the Lord’s Supper, remembering the death of Jesus, and NOT getting emotional?

    I love when the Bible talks about David worshipping God “with all his might,” and I realize that I do that so rarely!

    Grace and peace,
    Tim

  2. Jeff Slater says:

    Stamps-Baxter songs.

  3. Greg says:

    Singing dirges rather than praises!

    Where I grew up, a sermon was considered outstanding if a LOT of scripture was used, and all but heaven-sent if the preacher could actually quote the verses rather than read them from notes or his Bible. So sermons were filled with scripture that, in its context, may or may not have anything to do with the subject if, in fact, there were a subject!

    When I was a Harding Grad School I took a class on expository preaching. Dr. Slate called that kind of preaching “quarterback” preaching, where the preacher would call out scriptures like a quarterback would call out signals.

    I agree with your list but there are some friendly anti-PowerPoint people out there who might take offense. And I’ve seen some PP that is so bad I would side with them momentarily.

  4. chris says:

    Trey,

    I admit that I have conflicting thoughts regarding this subject.

    On one hand, I feel that worship is something we are to offer not something we receive. As such, I understand that worship is not necessarily an enjoyable endeavor. I recall Abraham as he offered his worship, a sacrifice of his son, which could not have been enjoyable by any stretch of the imagination. I think of Jesus who offered himself to God as our sacrifice, an event he referred to as a cup and requested that it be removed if at all possible, which could not have been enjoyable if you recall the scene from the movie “The Passion of Christ.”

    On the other hand, I agree with you that our services can become boring and lifeless, not enjoyable to attend. The words monotonous, routine, lackluster and detached can be used to describe our services at times. It is no wonder the service doesn’t impact lives and inspire greater service.

    What is the answer?

    I will write more later, but for now I want to read what others will say in response to your post.

    Thanks for always challenging us to think outside the box.

  5. DJG says:

    Well, some of you may find this offensive…but we put way too much emphasis on the preacher. The average church member is called not to worship..but to be a spectator.

    Then it is correct that some sermons are totally non-personable and non-applicable. Laughing and crying together should be a part of every assembly. Feeling that all of the service is meant for YOU..because YOU are here to WORSHIP GOD…

    I could get wound up here…so I will stop.

  6. Falantedios says:

    I bet Abraham and Jesus weren’t BORED, though.

    My mentor and friend Joel Hestand used to tell us about preaching in East Africa. He said that when the Maasai got bored with listening to the lesson, they’d just start to sing. He would stop teaching and sing with them for a little while, and then they would sit back down and he would start teaching again. I’ve always loved that reverent spontaneity.

    How do you deal with those brethren who believe that boredom is a sign of spiritual weakness? They don’t want you to change anything, to inject any different energy, because even when they are bored, they don’t believe it is your job to “unbore” them. How do we convince them that being boring is a disservice to the powerful life of God’s Word?

    in HIS love,
    Nick

  7. TREY MORGAN says:

    djg – “too much emphasis on the preacher” ?

    come on … you’re killing me. :)

    I actually agree 100%

  8. Danny says:

    Great pic!

    I liked your point about using churchy words. Even common words we are used to- such as redemption-is greek to most.

    And Donna, whaddya mean, too much emphasis on the preacher? You have gone to meddlin now! rofl

  9. Anonymous says:

    i think the the point about services going long is iffy. it depends

    the first Christians didn’t try to get in and out in an hour so they wouldn’t have to wait in line at the restaurant.

    i wish more people would free up Sunday schedule, they wouldn’t have to rush out the door whether we finish early or late. so they could visit more, maybe eat with someone else, and hang out

    long worship can be boring. shorter worship can be boring. It’s not the amount of time.

    brian

  10. lisa says:

    When I look around and see a lot of my Family members are lookin’ bored, that bores me. I want to look around & see excited & happy faces! I want to see emotion!

    I would really like our church to get a Power Point system, BUT … I don’t see it as necessary to keep our church from being bored. I think it’d be cool to have our songs up on the wall instead of down in our laps, so we’re literally lifting our voices up, rather than singing down to our feet. I would like to have some notes on the board because I learn better visually.

    BUT, and I know you mean well, Trey, BUT it isn’t necessary. And I don’t think we should see that as a good tool to use to keep the church from being bored during worship.

    Sorry, had to say it. :)

  11. TREY MORGAN says:

    I wonder how many people who say they are “bored” with church aren’t willing to help feed themselves. Have you ever heard anyone say “I’m just not getting fed at church.”

    Maybe they aren’t.

    Some where I saw the following: maybe the church HAS set the table, presented the bread of life, and there are those who are just too lazy to eat.

    No one minds helping a 2 year old eat their food. But if he can’t pick up a fork and bring the food to his mouth by age 20, we have a problem.

    Churches are filled with those who have known Christ for decades, and still need a bib, a high chair, and want Daddy to do “open wide, here comes the airplane” tricks with the fork before shoving it into their mouths.

    As churches we need to deliver the Word of God every Sunday. But if you refuse to apply it, study your Bible, pray during the week, get involved and dig deeper with others… If you can’t help feed yourselves … then a church will never be able to “feed you.”

    Get your own spiritual fork, and learn to feed yourself some. Serve. Pray. Practically apply the Bible to your life.

  12. That Girl says:

    I guess we must be broadcasting our ‘services’ to you or something. How did you know?

    Actually, my attitude is the problem and God is working on that as we speak. I’m being quite stubborn.

  13. Greg says:

    I’m back for a second comment … I remember hearing the Prince of Expository Sermons (in our day), Dr. Chuck Swindoll, say that no preacher has earned the right to be boring with the Word of God. I think he’s right on target. However, those of us who preach rarely admit we preached a boring sermon. So I’ll step up to the plate and admit … I’ve preached more than my share.

  14. TREY MORGAN says:

    Gret, Occasionally I’ll run back through old sermon notes and titles I’ve preached and think, “What was I thinking. Those poor people sat through THAT?”

    I feel your pain.

  15. preacherman says:

    I think when Church is boring, the focus is usually on “I” instead of “God”. You see we allow society to influence the way we view church. For example, how is it going to make “me” feel; does the preaching make “me” feel strengthened, encouraged, uplifted. (Sometimes toes need to be stepped on, lives need to be changed). Other Christians go to church with the mindset of “what can this church “offer my children” “teens” “family”. Instead of the idea of what can I do to serve God. When our focus is God when we come to worship and we come with the attitude of who can I encourage. Then church is going to be something that vibrant. If church is boring to you, then you need to ask yourself the question, am what is my focus and am I doing all that I can to make a difference when I go to church.

  16. leslie says:

    power points bore me when the preacher essentially reads the screen (just give me the print out and i’ll be on my way.)

    i think that balancing out the diet on sunday mornings can be good, especially if you offer that steak in a tantalizing way once in awhile. toddlers are notorious for eating off another’s plate rather than their own..have something they can’t resist, because you’re enjoying it (and you yourself may have been hungry for it).

    i agree with an above comment that the listeners who are animate in any way (even frowning and shaking their head) engages a neighbor’s interest in them, to what they are responding to, and encourages them to participate.

  17. Robert Lukenbill says:

    What makes worship exciting is when it is done in accordance with the word of God. That may sound too cliche’ but it is the truth. There is nothing wrong with having emotional services as long as it is in truth also (see John 4:24). On another note the problem with boring churches is that the focus has left God and has begun to focus on the creation. We should be coming to worship to bring our best to God. Cain tried to focus on himself and look where that got him. Idolatry was all about worship for people and not worship that was true. I appreciate this thread and those who seek to be biblical in nature.

    PS…i like sermons that apply principles from the Hittites, Perizzites and Jebusites…weren’t the Jebusites the pre-Jerusalem crowd?

  18. Bob Bliss says:

    Trey, every group has their own language. Computer geeks, musicians, teenagers, parents, etc. It builds identity and solidarity. If the group is worth joining then outsiders will want to learn the language.

    There should be emphasis on the preacher. His 20 minutes is the most expensive part of worship. It had better be good so that people will feel they are getting their money’s worth. They really think they are getting their money’s worth when he can preach on the Hittites and make it interesting. Anyone out there have any good sermons on the Hittites?

    What keeps worship from being boring is a congregation that loves God, loves the redemption He has given us, loves each other, loves to be together, and loves sharing Jesus with those who don’t know him. When that congregation is together on Sunday morning none of the other stuff matters.

  19. Baptist Man says:

    A few thoughts:

    1. Since when is it the goal of the church to have an emotional service? I’m not saying it’s wrong to be emotional, I’m just saying it’s wrong if that’s the goal.

    2. Since when is it the goal of the church NOT to have a boring service? Again, I’m not saying your goal should be to have a boring service, I’m saying you shouldn’t worry about it.

    3. “Jesus is the focus” is the mantra for many, yet at the same time they have a man-centered philosophy about ministry. We have a choice…please man or please God. If man gets “bored” with a service that glorifies God, so what?

    4. Don’t expect a lost person to be interested in spiritual matters. If EVERYBODY loves your church, you have a problem. MOST people didn’t like Jesus and the Apostles and the early church. That’s why they all died a martyrs death (except John).

    5. Ever heard of Obed-edom? One of the best sermons I’ve EVER heard was preached about his life and his desire to stay with the Ark of God. The Ark represents the presence of God. I think many would miss the blessing of that message because his name is too long and it’s buried somewhere back in the Old Testament.

    6. Sorry for such a long, BORING comment.

  20. Brandon Price says:

    About long services…

    This is something we’re struggling with now because every man that gets up preaches his own sermon (the Lord’s Supper man, the Giving man, the Closing Prayer man…and they are often not even about what happens to be going on). A couple Sundays ago we went two hours of sitting and hearing all these different “lectures” (it felt like).

    Two visitors ended up leaving early because of how late it was getting.

    It’s a tough battle because you don’t want to imply that our services our on a strict time limit, but at the same time you have to think that if you are past people’s attention span, what you’re saying doesn’t make any difference.

    I was thinking about how at any sort of conference you go to (Christian or otherwise) they always give you a break about every forty-five minutes or an hour because we understand how people need to get up and stretch and rest their minds.

    I wonder why we don’t put that same kind of thought into our worship services.

  21. Brandon Voss says:

    Trey some times I feel like my website is boring to people?

  22. Monalea says:

    I was always under the impression that we got out of our worship to God what we put into it. I think sometimes we forget that we are there to “worship” and “praise” (two verbs) God and that the preaching is just the extra, not what it’s all about.

    Monalea

  23. bbeth says:

    Boredom is a state of mind that is too prevalent in today’s society. My six year old will tell me he doesn’t want to do something today because it is boring – the very same thing that he did yesterday with much enthusiasm.

    Usually I can keep the boredom at bay in a worship service (notice that “I” can keep it at bay – not that the worship is or is not boring). On those few occasions when I just can’t seem to get into the worship/sermon, I just open my Bible up and read on my own and soon I am enthralled with a certain scripture and the time flies by. Once it flew by to my embarassment as we stood to sing the invitation song, all but a few in the audience went forward. I didn’t have a clue what was going on – but I didn’t want to respond to something that I wasn’t sure about :) After the service I discovered that the preacher had asked for the members of the congregation who were willing to wholeheartedly support the programs the congregation was engaged in to come forward. Members were very interested in my non response! However not many weeks later the preacher resigned – so guess he wasn’t willing to wholeheartedly support the congregation either.

    I remember a phrase that the mother of one of my old friends used to say when we said something about someone’s attitude – “They have the same clothes to get glad in.” Enthusiasm is contagious – if we are enthusiastic about our worship then others will be as well.

    Bonnie Anderson

  24. CL says:

    Seems like I read somewhere the idea that we should “Taste the Lord and see that He is good.” Part of the problem with our services is that we don’t allow people to have that connection that Len Sweet talks about:
    Experiential
    Participatory
    Image Rich
    Connecting

    Two main issues:
    1 – Too much preacher not enough exchange and participation (this is tough as I am a preacher but Donna is right)
    2 – Most of the time we don’t get to use all of our senses. What if we could offer up to the creator our creativity as one of the Five Acts?

    Just some thoughts…

  25. john dobbs says:

    Interesting posts. Trey, I want to address sometime the ‘myth’ that the worship service is “FOR” God. It’s actually for US, and when we miss that we produce a service that we think is full of truth and then we say we shouldn’t be bored because it wasn’t for us it was for God.

    And I also wonder if Brandon has ever submitted a response that did not mention his web site?

  26. Di says:

    I have to say that I agree with the statement about leaving emotion out of the service, though I don’t like too much emotion either. Real transparency and not hype is good.

    I left the traditional “boring” church 30 + years ago. Boring was how I saw it at the time. I enjoy good worship aimed at giving one time to focus the thought and word on God. Now that I have returned to the “boring” traditional church, I find it less “boring” and more full of fruit, less me oriented and more them oriented. I still miss the “spirit led” worship of the charismatic church but I am much less judgemental of others now and look for what meets my needs and also honor the needs of others – and sometimes their fears. It is where God has me for this season of my life and I meet Him there.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Have you ever been to a staff meeting of a failing business? Pretty serious/boring. Have you ever been to a staff meeting of a thriving business? Pretty exciting/joyous. The atmosphere of the service on Sunday morning directly mirrors the productivity of the members during the week. If we’re speaking Christ to people during the week and if we’re mentoring brothers/sisters to present them full-grown in Christ, Sundays will be glorious, not boring. WRH

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

Get The TreyMorgan.net App

To get the TreyMorgan.net app on your iPhone, iPad or iTouch

Subscribe

In an RSS Reader:


Or By Email:




Powered by FeedBlitz

Feed the Dump People

Archives

Follow Me On Twitter

Trey Morgan
@TreyMorgan
Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
  • Someone brought me some ... it was horrible. DON'T. TRY. IT.
  • Congrats to the Texas Tech defense for not giving up any points today. 😜
  • RT : behind the scenes of Tannor Yearwood's touchdown! https://t.co/ODtKcZFSBQ
  • Texas Rangers clinch the AL West. #2016ALWestChamps https://t.co/bwyUDuecny
  • shuck! And twitter continues to not give us an edit option.

Grab a Honduras Blog Button

Trey Morgan

My Web Host