I shared Sunday that one of the core values of actionchurch is to be a place that doesn’t “lecture you , bore you, or waste your time” I think of those three values every week as I prepare to speak.
The difficult thing is that all three values are in constant (and I think healthy) tension.
No Lectures: As a society we are over-run with information. Very few of us would willingly choose to attend a lecture on Sunday morning about the history of some long-dead “Bible charactor”. Besides, Bible information without application is just Bible Trivia. However, it’s impossible to share the life-changing principles and stories of Scripture without sharing information.
Don’t Be Boring: I’m pretty sure that making the Bible boring is a sin. It’s filled with the most amazing stories ever written. However, it’s also filled with mind-numbing lists, geneologies, and detailed policies. Because it is set in cultures from thousands of years ago it’s easy to miss it’s relevance for our lives today. On Sunday mornings we attempt every week to tie ancient scripture to things in our lives today. We use music, movies, news events, television clips, and the occasional awkward story from my life.
Don’t waste anyone’s time: No one HAS TO come to church. We don’t live in a society that enforces church attendance (either by legislation or culturally shaming non-attenders). The last thing I want to do on a Sunday morning is to waste the time of someone who has voluntarily chosen to get up and come to church. Here’s where the tension comes in: since we never want to lecture anyone, it would be tempting to not talk about the difficult areas and ideas of Scripture. Since we don’t want to bore anyone it’s tempting to just play an episode of the office and laugh together when we’re not listening to the band. That would be entertaining. However, since I never want to waste anyone’s time I know the most important thing I can do is to share the Good News that God gifts us with in scripture. The biggest “waste of time” I can think of on Sunday morning would be to simply try to entertain everyone without engaging and challenging them to consider the eternally important consequences of missing God’s plan for their life. (Besides, let’s be honest…at it’s most “entertaining”…Church is not exactly going to “compete” with the entertainment options most of us have available to us at home on Sunday morning).
“What if there was a place that would never lecture you, bore you, or waste your time? What if that place turned out to be a Church?”
Those words will always bring “tension” as we plan and prepare for Sunday morning each week…and I think that’s a very healthy thing.