Apathetic Worship

I am not a creature of habit. I normally fight routine and ruts as much as I can. While in college I had to keep a post-it note on my apartment door that listed the things that most people never forget because they are part of their daily routine. The note read; Wallet, Keys, Phone, Glasses. Yeah I can’t count the number of days I left one of those very important items behind. Nonetheless it is very easy to get stuck in a rut. There have been times and still are when as much as I fight it I get stuck in routines. Marriages struggle when things just become a routine, work, relationships, and so much more. And that goes for Church and Worship. I just go because I am supposed to. I sing the songs and just go through the motions (which is real strange when singing “The Motions” by Matthew West – it’s just so darn literal). Full disclosure – there are Sundays, even as a worship leader, that I feel more like I am going through the motions than anything else. It has to show, there is no way I can lead with an apathetic attitude and it not show. I never want to offer vain worship but I must admit there are days when that is what I am doing.

So how can we prevent our Sunday worship experience from being just another part of our routine? How can we prevent apathetic worship? My theory stems from Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” You see the people of Israel had rejected the covenant God had made with them, they had forgotten how God had brought them out of slavery. You see our public worship is only a small part of our total commitment to Christ and if Monday-Saturday we are not remembering what God has done for us and not worshipping days other than Sunday they how do we suppose we can just offer something on Sunday’s and it really be sincere? We must walk humbly with our God everyday to be in a correct attitude when it comes to Sunday worship.

John 4:23 reminds us that “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” One must come to God in complete sincerity and with a spirit that is directed by the life and activity of the Holy Spirit. Our life must be directed by the Holy Spirit, not just our Sundays. You see these things require intentional thought that can help us prevent the worship routine.

What do you think? How can we prevent worship from becoming just part of the weekly routine and something more intentional that we approach with a humble heart? Have you ever found yourself just going through the motions on Sundays (or any other days really)?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

He's a nice guy

2 Comments

  1. Danielle Murfee   •  

    I have found myself stuck in a rut many times. Going to church on Sunday, then returning to work (or Mommy-land) the next day like it was just part of the routine. What has helped me tremendously is joining the choir and a ladies Bible study group. Having places to go and people to talk to that bring me back to my focus on God breaks up that mundane routine. It also gives me the opportunity to hear others share how they are going through the same difficulties I face every day.
    I’m the type that will write Bible verses on sticky notes and put them on the bathroom mirror. The one I have up right now is I Cor. 15:58. “…Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord for you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” I think this is very applicable to the point you are trying to make. If my everyday routine involves laboring for the Lord then praise and worship naturally follow.

  2. Greg   •  

    Nate,
    I hate that I was late Wednesday and missed the discussion… I am like lots that have my moments through the week… I am not making excuses but try as I might I still have those days… I find that most Sunday’s when I step up on the stage.. start singing praises to Him.. somewhere along the line I will feel the Holy Spirit there with me. There are songs of Worship that we sing that will cause me so much emotion that I have to stop singing or I may just break down.. Those times I KNOW He is with me.. I do know that it gets to be a mundane thing we do… every Sunday.. I don’t think about if I am good enough, I don’t think about how I present myself to the congregation, I have my moments with God while I sing praises to Him.. It just happens that I am in front of people..

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