My husband is at church alone this morning. I stayed home to worship through writing. I began my “service” the way I’ve started each day this week – by praying with Anne. And just like every other morning this week, I whispered a salty amen. And as I did, I realized that that few minutes of prayer did more to refine my sin-dappled heart than an hour at church ever does.
I sit in my well-respected mega-church and I am unmoved. My mind is impressed with the well-rehearsed and well-staged music, with the cool graphics and visuals, but my heart is unmoved.
I listen to the announcements and to the boasts of how awesome we are in all that we are doing and I feel like a spectator. Like my only role is to give audience (and cash) to someone else’s vision. To be a bricklayer in the building of an earthly kingdom. But I long to lay bricks in the heavenly Kingdom.
I listen to the sermon hoping to hear from God. It is a nice, generic, one-size-fits-all message. It begins with some promise but it lacks Spirit. It does not challenge me to love better, behave better, think better, relate to God better. It just pats me on the head and sends me on my way.
I leave disappointed, frustrated and, if there were any visible threads of misogyny showing that morning, irritated.
Something is wrong when going to church does more harm than good.
Anne preached more in a week of prayers than my pastor has preached all year. And she moved me much closer to who God wants me to be.