Growing up I remember hearing phrases like, “That head knowledge about God needs to travel 12 inches to your heart for God,” or “You can have so many degrees they call you Fahrenheit and still not be hot for God.” While I can certainly understand where these statements are coming from I fear that a balance is missing. We’ve overemphasized a heart for God to the neglect of a right head for God. But God wants both!
Let’s admit it, if you go to just about any church today you will see (and probably not hear) a lot of “music mumblers” during the song service. These are the people who just mumble the words or just plain don’t sing at all. Now, I might be in danger of nit-picking here but I believe the main culprits in this “music-mumbling-mayhem” are my own gender – the males. There’s a lot of timid dude singers out there. In many churches, the few men who open their mouths to sing do so timidly, almost afraid to be heard. So why aren’t men singing in church?
Here’s a statement that will probably make most pastors and church members pause: Children’s ministry may be the most important ministry of your church. D.L. Moody once said, “If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!”
It’s the final exam time of year for most high schoolers. As a youth pastor I get a lot of questions about this time. Sometimes, young Christians tell me that they won’t be coming to church this week because they are too busy studying for those finals.
I get that. I know what it’s like to spend hours at studying for a huge test or writing a massive research paper. I crammed a bachelor’s degree into three and a half years and a master’s degree into a year and a half. I know what it’s like to have a huge amount of pressure or high expectations from parents, teachers, and yourself. I’m not writing about this to add even more pressure to your already busy week or guilt trip you into coming to church.
Most churches would agree that when it comes to their worship services things must be done with excellence and order. We carefully plan out an “order of service” and expect all the special numbers to be well-rehearsed. We will not tolerate a lack of preparation when it comes to the worship time. “God expects our best,” is the pastor’s attitude. I get that. I appreciate that. I commend that. I just wish we were as serious about the preaching time of our service as we are the singing time.
Let’s face it. As long as there are sermons preached there is always going to be a fair share of “bad” sermons. I’ve certainly heard my fair share of poor homilies in the pulpits of colleges, camps and churches. Some of them have been famously “bad.” I remember listening to a preacher who introduced his sermon by saying, “I didn’t have time to get to this sermon until late last night.” He literally admitted he’d only spent an hour or two in preparation! Is this okay? Should we tolerate this kind of preaching?
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