Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. – I Timothy 4:13, 14
Preaching the gospel has long been the primary method for sharing the message of Jesus Christ with others. However, preaching has had a challenging time keeping up with the modern age of electronics, which in turn have lessened peoples’ attention spans. Our minds have become increasing visually oriented from spending so much time in front of television screens and computer monitors. Now more than ever people have a hard time sitting and listening to what someone is saying. But the gospel must continue to be preached, for that is part of our high calling in Christ Jesus that we proclaim the message of the cross to the world.
I recall a story I heard many years ago about a little boy who was standing in the foyer of the church looking at a bronze plaque that commemorated those who had given their lives in military service. The pastor saw the little boy gazing at the plaque and asked him what he thought of it. “What do all these names mean?” The boy asked. “Those are the people who died in the service.” The pastor replied. The boy looked up and said, “Would that be the morning or the evening service?” Perhaps you can identify with that, for you have felt that there was little to no life in the worship experience in the church you attend. Sadly, it is often the case as the late Vance Havner said that “Some churches start at eleven o’clock sharp and end at twelve o’clock dull.” We know what that feels like to be in a worship time where there is little to no excitement or enthusiasm.
If you have found yourself in such a situation, what was your response? Did you complain, criticize the pastor, or simply go somewhere else? Those responses are often the case. Allow me to pose an alternative to those responses: stay, encourage others, and pray for a great movement of God’s Spirit to fall upon that congregation. It can begin with one person. This attitude of prayer can then spread to another and then another, until enough people stop just sitting there and begin to get serious about their walk with Jesus Christ. What follows can be a wonderful outpouring of God’s Spirit resulting in a renewed vision of what God can do in that congregation.
Do you want an exciting worship experience on your congregation? Hopefully the answer to that question is yes. Leaving and finding another church may indeed not be the answer. Instead, pray that God will move in your heart in a fresh and powerful way. Pray that the people will get stirred up and on fire for the Lord. And pray that a great revival will come.
God is faithful, and He will do as He has promised. Revival can happen – in us and in the church.