When there is a major crisis (natural disaster, a church member in drastic need, etc.), what does the church do? It mobilizes! People’s hearts are stirred and things happen! And they happen fast! Supplies are purchased and donated, money is sent, food is prepared. It’s a wonderful, beautiful thing!
And when we help in big ways like this, we feel pretty good about God, Christians, the church and ourselves. When crisis happens, we don’t feel put out when we’re asked to help. We want to help! In the middle of it, we don’t complain that we are being inconvenienced. We don’t get caught up in petty complaints about life and church. For the most part, we don’t care about how much money it’s going to take to help. We just make it happen! And we’re happy about it! It makes us feel really good! We are glad to do anything we can, and we’re happy to have had the chance to help. To contribute to the greater good.
After a church has all come together to help in a big way, we feel great about the good that we have accomplished together. The Sunday after this, we’re all on a little high. God has showed up! We realize the impact that we have had, and we’re a little more excited than normal to worship that week. There is a buzz in the air. It’s electric.
But give us a few weeks, and we’re back to our old selves. Back to the hum-drum of Sunday morning church. We each come for our own reasons, but the vast majority of us leave the worship experience on Sundays feeling a little hollow. We were there. We tried to worship. We really did! But there is still something missing. We expect church to fill us up for the week ahead, but then we’re frustrated when it seems to fall flat and not inspire us to do something great that week. It doesn’t change our lives.
But maybe the answer isn’t in what the church needs to do/provide for us. Maybe it’s in what we have done all week long in between church services.
Why does it take a major crisis to move us? But a bigger question is:
Why are we blind to the crisis around us all week long? The people in our daily lives crying out for help? They are everywhere! There is crisis everywhere! Our eyes and hearts have just become blind or hardened toward it over time. We either choose to not see it or we are just too busy focusing on our own lives to really take the time to see that all around us, people are drowning in their own personal crises.
So somehow, we need to open our eyes to the people around us. The guy sitting at the desk next to you at work. The cashier at your grocery store. Your next-door neighbor. Your child’s teacher. Parents sitting next to us in the stands while we watch our kids’ sports games. The list goes on! If we train ourselves to constantly be looking for crisis and needs, we will find it! It’s there! And if we start looking for it…if we expect it, we will be moved to help. We won’t be able to stand it! We will have to do what we can to bring hope to those who need it. We will mobilize! We will do what it takes, and it will not inconvenience us! We will love like never before. We will pray like never before. We will give like never before.
And we will worship on Sunday mornings like never before! If we’ve spent all week, every week ministering to the needs of people around us, worship will come easy to us! We will be so excited about coming to church on Sunday mornings that we can hardly contain ourselves! We will want to share what has happened during our week. We will be ready to worship the God who has shown up big in our life during the week…because we decided to show up for those around us! And the name of God and his goodness will be a lot more loose on our lips throughout the next week. It will be easy to talk about his love!
Tomorrow’s post is about what I am calling The Worship Experiment. If you are moved by any of this or any of this speaks to you, please share it with friends.
Let’s get The Worship Experiment rolling! Let’s go!