I have often heard people say that they have stopped attending church, but the reason that I have thought about most recently is the statement that people stop going because ‘church is boring.’ There are at least four reasons why someone might be bored with church – but they all boil down to this – the problem is either with you, or with your church, or both.
Here is the first reason why you might be bored with church:
You are not a true Christian believer.
Many people might label themselves as ‘Christian,’ but such labels are often no more than a cultural association, and have little to do with actual belief or faith. Ask them if they believe in the central doctrines of Christianity, a day of judgment, that all men are sinners, that Jesus died for their sins and rose again to prove it, and that we must personally believe in Jesus’ sacrificial death and imputed righteousness to be saved (can’t depend on your good works), and they would flatly disagree. They believe there is a God – “so what!” says the scriptures:
You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble! (James 2:19)
Though some may want to argue the fact or the minutae, the Bible defines clearly what a Christian is and believes. We call these truths “the essentials” of the faith. Don’t believe these, and you aren’t really a Christian. And what makes one a Christian is neither church membership nor mental assent to a ‘Christian ethic.’ Rather, it is personally believing that Christ died for us, and receiving him into your own heart to change you. As Jesus himself said:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (John 1:12)
This doctrine of regeneration runs throughout the New Testament (cf. 1 Peter 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:22-24, John 1:12, John 3:7, John 14:16-18).
When a person truly comes to faith, they are hungry for the Word of God, hungry for the things of God, hungry for Christ himself. As Peter wrote:
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2)
Many are bored because, still in their unregenerate state, they cannot understand or deeply desire the things of God, as Paul the Apostle wrote:
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
I have seen this many times, and chiefly with my own brother. I preached the gospel to him for a few years, and he listened, but did not believe. We had many conversations about it, but one day over the phone, I realized that he suddenly had a real understanding of the scriptures, and not just things I had told him. Even though he did not understand it at that point, he had been regenerated, and the Holy Spirit was teaching him.
The solution to this problem is clear. Understand the gospel, and receive Christ. Or as one scripture describes salvation:
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God (Hebrews 6:1)
That is, TURNING away from works of evil that lead to death, as well as works of righteousness that we use to try to earn a good standing with God (like making our good deeds outweigh our bad), and instead STARTING with faith towards God, that we can be forgiven, not based on our performance, but on Christ’s. As it is written:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:6-9)
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5)
I myself came to understand the gospel through the well known Four Spiritual Laws, written by Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright. Perhaps as you read them, they will make sense to you also.
NEXT: Bored with church? Part II – Your church is not preaching the truth.