Church. Is. Boring.
We go there anywhere from once or twice a year for special occasions, to once or twice or three times a week. Regardless of how often we go, I think we could agree that church can be incredibly boring. You are doing the same exact thing every time. You walk in, avoid the old ladies who will comment on how much you’ve grown or what have you, walk down an aisle in an enormous, uninviting “sanctuary” and sit there awkwardly on a hard bench thing, they call a “pew,” and wait for the service to start. Then it starts and you are forced to say hi to the overly friendly people around you, and then sing… out loud… in public… where people can hear you. And to make things worse, you don’t even really know the songs you are singing, only adding to the humiliation of the activity. Finally you get to sit back on the hard pew, and listen for about an hour to some guy with a weird tie, or even better, a bowtie, talk about some passage or something that you probably won’t remember as soon as you leave. Then you repeat the humiliating process of singing a couple more times, and then make your way past the overly friendly people again, and high-tail it out of there.
I think somewhere in our core we all have the desire for spirituality, or at least a betterment of some kind, but at what cost? Going to a boring church service every week? I think that in all reality the main reason people go to church is to get that spirituality through some sort of spiritual high.
But what if we can no longer get that high because this thing we call church is so predictable, and uncomfortable. What if people are leaving the church because they are bored? The effects of spirituality we associate with church are no longer there?
When attempting to learn something it helps to be entertained, at least a little. For the most part, church is not really entertaining, unless a pastor uses some sort of visual aid, which goes bad. It’s lost its sense of awe and shock. We’ve become almost numb to the spirituality that the church is attempting to deal out.
There is this phenomenon out there called sensory adaptation. It is essentially the process of tuning something out. One of my favorite examples of sensory adaptation is that of walking into a room with a really loud fan blowing. At first this sound is really annoying, and you just want it to go away, but there is no way to turn it off. After a while you begin to tune out that sound, and it no longer has the same effect on you as it did when you first entered the room.
I think that this phenomenon can be seen in the church today. When we first go to church, everything is new. We awkwardly walk around finding where we are supposed to be, and follow what everyone else is doing, not knowing what will happen next, and leave thinking about every aspect of what we just went though. After going many times, however, you start getting use to the routines and practices, and eventually start tuning things out.
After we start tuning these things out, we get bored, and want something new. Something that’s exciting and different.
I will agree 100% that church services can be incredibly boring, and at times I really don’t want to go to them. And churches could definitely work on changing things up every once in a while to keep all of us church goers entertained enough to not get bored, and learn something to get that spiritual high that we seek out. I will say this though, even though that fan that I talked about earlier can be annoying, and eventually we tune it out, it is still necessary. If we didn’t have it we would be superhot and sweaty and miserable.