It’s been awhile since I posted anything. Keeping up with a blog was much easier when my son was barely toddling and I only worked 3 days a week. 🙃
I need to get something off my chest, though. It doesn’t even have to do with parenting or with Spencer. It has to do with church.
We went to the 9:00 service today; it seems like that is usually the busiest one and we generally prefer to go on Saturday nights. It was fairly crowded and as people were finding their seats, they were happily greeting friends and carrying on conversations (you know, typical Sunday morning church stuff). The service began and the worship leader began to share about the songs and praying over the service.
I couldn’t hear what he was saying because so many people were still talking and laughing – loudly. This continued through the first few songs. People were filtering in, walking around, hugging their friends, loudly catching up all through the worship service. Very few hands were lifted, some people were drinking coffee or eating their breakfast.
Near the end of the service, the pastor was wrapping up his message and praying and I was incredibly disappointed to see a whole crowd of people walking out while he was still talking.
I wasn’t even raised in church but I have always felt that I should be reverent in a church service, whether I want to be there or not. I don’t have my phone out, I don’t bring in food or drinks, I don’t socialize until after church. I know God isn’t confined to a building but isn’t the purpose of gathering together in a church service so we can worship God as a congregation and be present before the Lord together? I’m honestly not trying to be judgmental, but it saddens me when people take church so lightly that it’s nothing more than a place to hang out and be seen on Sunday mornings.
I’ve had a very hard time fitting in and feeling like I’m part of our church. I’m not going to deny that. We’ve met some great people and strong Christians through our life group, and I absolutely love serving with the toddlers every week. Everyone I’ve met has been friendly. The weekly sermons are challenging and always rooted in the Bible. The pastors are incredible speakers. The musicians are nearly flawless. The church is heavily involved in serving the community outside the walls of the church building, which I love. There’s so much about the church as an organization that I love.
But week after week, I have such a hard time motivating myself to attend the Saturday/Sunday service. I’ve prayed that my intentions are pure and that I’m not just looking for things to be “my way.” I genuinely want to hear from God, to be united with my church community in worship and prayer, and to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Week after week, it doesn’t happen (for me, at least).
Every week, I pray that I’m not distracted. Please, God, remove the distractions so I can solely focus on YOU. Aside from blindfolding myself, I don’t know how to tune out the distractions when I’m at church. Not only are people walking around through the service and/or talking, but the service itself just distracts me. The colored lights, the cameras all lined up, the very loud and very talented and very contemporary worship band. The constant flow of the schedule and how there is never unscheduled time to just pray or be still and quiet before the Lord. The casual, laidback approach of the congregation distracts me. The mere fact that every detail of the service is so organized and pre-planned and scripted distracts me, which I’m sure makes no sense.
I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want to be homesick for our old church every single time I’m standing there during the worship service. I don’t want to notice everyone around me who isn’t paying attention because I should be paying attention myself. I don’t want to be hypercritical of the details of the service. I don’t want to use the word “I” in so many of my sentences. I want to get back to a place in my life where going to church is something I look forward to and am expectantly excited about.
Does anyone else feel distracted during your weekly church service? What is it that distracts you and how do you move past that?