I recently ran across a quote from a book I read some years ago, and which I think remains immensely relevant. I wanted to share the quote, and a short meditation on it here. Often, churches get accused of being boring because of musical style, programs (or lack thereof), or the production value. But that’s not what makes churches boring. Listen to the following quote from Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (p. 102):
Church isn’t boring because we’re not showing enough film clips, or because we play an organ instead of a guitar. It’s boring because we neuter it of its importance. Too often we treat our spiritual lives like the round of golf [where we just talk about what we think about God]… At the end of my life, I want my friends and family to remember me as someone who battled for the gospel, who tried to mortify sin in my life, who fought hard for life, and who contended earnestly for the faith. Not just as a nice guy who occasionally noticed the splendor of the mountains God created, while otherwise trying to enjoy myself, manage my schedule, and work on my short game.
In other words, church isn’t boring because of style. Church becomes boring when we make the gospel secondary, make our entertainment primary, and stop bearing one another’s burdens to fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2).
I can think of countless churches with organs, hymns, and liturgy that are very much alive because they take God and his Word seriously. I can think of churches that resemble rock concerts that are nearly dead, because they’ve become all about entertainment and hardly at all about keeping God central to all their hustle and bustle of ‘doing church’. There is no ‘style’ that keeps churches alive. Only the Spirit, working in the substance of the Word, to transform men and women into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:17-18).