Like a married woman who becomes dissatisfied reading romance novels, I have become dissatisfied with mundane Christianity as I’ve read the thrilling adventures of missionaries–men and women like Gladys Aylward, Esther Kim, Hudson Taylor, Samuel Morris, and Eric Liddell.
Our Kids are Bored
The book, Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it, makes the argument that young people are leaving the Christian church in droves because the church isn’t addressing the big questions on evolution and the veracity of the Bible. I agree, but I also believe that young people are leaving because they’re bored. My son is currently on his mission trip to Africa. He called me from Nairobi more excited than I’ve heard him in years. The Kenyan church is on fire for God, he told me. I don’t want the flame to go out when he returns.
I’m Bored, Too
I’m only 40-something, but I’m bored, too. By boredom, I don’t mean that God is boring, because He isn’t. The relationship I have with Jesus Christ is the most exciting relationship I’ve ever had or will ever have. One reason He is so exciting to me is because He challenges me. He isn’t like a teacher who keeps saying, “Good, good” to everything I do. Instead, He says, “Good! Now try this.” What I’m asked to do always seems beyond my reach, but it isn’t.
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. (Deut. 30:11)
While my personal relationship with Christ is exciting, my corporate relationship isn’t. In other words, I don’t feel my church challenges me the way Jesus does. Instead, I’m asked to do easy things I could do when I was six. I’m still dropping money in the offering basket, singing songs, and folding my hands to pray. Is that all there is?
I don’t think so. Anything becomes boring when it’s repetitive and disconnected from its purpose.
God Isn’t Boring
A few years ago, a friend of mine asked me to donate shoes to her missionary friend who works in a remote area of Africa. I gathered up shoes from my closet with no more thought than I give to any decluttering. Some time later, I received a photo (I can’t find it or I would share it) of the women wearing my shoes, so giddy with joy they were practically levitating. I sat at my computer and wept and wept. Giving shoes was suddenly anything but boring.
I don’t know what the answer is to the boredom epidemic in our churches, but I’m asking God to challenge me in this area. Here’s a link to a great video on why God isn’t boring.