There is a quesiton on page 40 of the Wild at Heart Field manual which prompted me to write this post. However, it is something I've been thinking about a long time, just finally am getting around to verbalize. "Compare your experience to watching Braveheart at the Battle of Stirling with, say, the Sunday morning service at your church."
No doube you have been there. The preacher does a really good job, or at least works hard at, getting the congregation stirred up to action - to make positive changes. then its, sing a song and Goodbye, have a blessed week.
Am I the only one who senses a problem with this? What a let down? Pop my bubble while you are at it, why don't you? do this enough times, and the congregation becomes desensitized to life changing actions. Even longer and they come to abhor them. "What! You asked me to tell the person next to them I love them!? You are crazy pastor!" Even something as simple as this.
Get them worked up, then cut it off. The church has a massive case of spiritual blueballs. There, I said it. Stop ignoring the elephant in the room.
Now, before you start juding me to be some radical, let me explain that I understand that there is a time for teaching. And there is a time for thinking about and digesting what was said.
Now it is your turn. Is it really necessary to go home and pray about the message of Loving your Neighbor? Or starting to tithe? Or stopping sin in your life? No, that is easy stuff and if you don't get that, then you are soooo numb. Even a noob beleiver understands that. So when a pastor preaches about something like that, it should end the service with - OK, if you agree with me then stick around and we'll all figure out how to start doing this.
You know, this happens at some church services. Muslim extremist ones! They preach about how to terrorize non-muslims. Then they stick around and figure out how to actually do it.
So as you can see, there are times when it is prudent to not rush off and implement what you think the preacher said. But there are even more times when you should. Or stick around at least and figure out together how bes tto do it. What you want to avoid is "OK, now go home and pray about it. OR think about it. Or just, go home" You know you won't think about it, won't pray about it, and will just come back next week to see what the new flavor of the week is you should feel bad about changing, but will forget by the following Sunday.
There are times to act! Jesus had many of them when he was done preaching. How dare you, preacher, stir up the hearts of men to fight the battle against Satan and then just leave them hanging? You ar ethe reason our hearts are numb! You have numbbed them with years of this. You all know the analogy - Stir up a mans libido and then don't deliver. That is what you are doing. You are teasing the men of the church. You can only do that so many times before we build up defenses against your teasing.
Let me spell it out for you.
When you preach that we should stop sinning, then call us to repent right then and there! Let us confess our sins and start teaching us how to stop. When you call us to read the bible more, then give us a plan how to do it. When you call us to help the needy, then show us the plan. CAll, and lead. Call, lead. All you are doing is calling. and it's going in one ear and out the other.