In an article over at The Christian Post entitled, How to Make Sure Your Church Is Boring!, Perry Noble, founding pastor of New Spring Church in South Carolina, gives his tongue-in-cheek Eight Simple Steps to a more boring church.
Here they are in shortened form. For the full article, click here:
#1 – There has GOT to be apathetic leadership – Seriously, the leaders in the church MUST be obsessed with not rocking the boat and pursuing personal comfort!
#2 – There CANNOT be a desire to reach people far from God! Seriously, new birth can bring excitement to a church, which is NOT what people in pursuit of boredom desire. SO…don’t focus on the Gospel…instead teach lots of history lessons and talk about things that very few people actually care about. …
#3 – DO NOT call for ANY type of commitment from ANYONE–EVER! People MUST be allowed to come and go as they please…and must NEVER be made to feel uncomfortable under any type of circumstances. …
#4 – Always be predictable. Do the same songs at the same times, pray the same prayers and make SURE that people can look at their watch at any point in the service and know exactly what’s coming next.
#5 – Make excuses when things are done poorly! WHATEVER you do…do NOT address the obvious issues that are right under your nose. …
#6 – PLEASE make sure not to make ANY type of references to culture in your church services. …
#7 – You’ve GOT to allow people to pretend that their lives are perfect! Seriously, if someone has a problem then you must either put them out of your church OR tell them to act as if they are perfect. …
#8 – You MUST focus on the external and NOT the internal. Make the way people dress the MOST important issue…and the way they LIVE a non-issue!!!
Mind you, none of these are really all that original nor are they laugh-out-loud funny. They are like a David Letterman Top Ten list. A polite smile. Maybe a chuckle.
However, what caught my eye is how close to home they hit. How many United Methodist churches fit this description? How many pastors and lay leaders actually think like this? How much like this am I?
None of us want to admit to it, of course. But, it is what is happening. We have created “boring church” full of “bored-again Christians.”
Not because the gospel is boring. Not because worship can’t be life-transforming. But because we have chosen to major on minors. We have chosen to be comfortable rather than compelling.
The problem is, comfortable is predictable. And predictable is safe. So, there are no altar calls. That could upset somebody, and we wouldn’t want that.
So, we stick to routine. We keep things nice and polite. We speak in abstract generalities. We never let it get personal or convicting. Because who would like that?
Perhaps this is why our churches are shrinking. After all, no one accused John Wesley of being boring, or Jesus either, for that fact.
But, then again, who wants to be chased out of town by an angry mob wielding rocks ready to be hurled? Maybe boring is better. At least, it’s safer.