Why Your Sunday Doesn’t Make It Into Every Day
I was listening to a podcast where the interviewee shared a story.
According to her, there was this woman she knew from afar. The woman would worship in church and show signs of incredible emotional experience with God, sometimes weeping in worship. In addition, she also volunteered in Church.
Then something would happen in her life (as it always does for all of us), discouragement, someone speaks bad of her, a conflict at home and she wouldn’t just become sad or discouraged. She would go into outrageously risky behavior.
And then a couple of weeks later she would be back – worshipping, weeping, volunteering in church before another incident and she would be back into the “outrageously risky behavior”
She wondered what was the problem with her. A counselor friend diagnosed the problem.
“Her true addiction is to experiences. As long as she was “feeling” something in church she was ok. But as soon as the feeling waned, when the experience became a bit stale she was going to go somewhere else to feel something else.”
Why Your Sunday Doesn’t Make It into Every Day
But the nice lady described in the story is not the victim. This is actually more common than you may know. I dare say, you and I are also on the same highway she is driving on. We may just not know.
How many times have we come out from church on Sunday (or any day) and never found a way to translate the Sunday experience to something that lives with us every day?
On Sunday, we turn on our “church mind” and activate the right response that comes with every activity on the Sunday roster:
- We do the dance when the music takes a fast pace.
- We go reflective when the music takes a slow beat
- We hola back at the preacher when he stimulates our cerebral cortex (I have been looking for when I could use these two words)
- We drop our “seed” to make sure the church stays open until the next week
Afterwards, we turn off our church-mind and resume the “everyday mind”. It’s almost like having multiple personalities. All of them coming on depending on where we are.
How Did We Get Here?
Sunday has become the drug of choice for most of us bible toting church people (even if it is now an app on our phones). We take a sip of Sunday to power us up for the week and return a week later for another fix.
So, who’s fault is it?
Most of us grew up being taught that there was a standard code of behavior for Sunday.
You went to church in your Sunday-best, gave the newest money note when the offering plate was passed, avoided disagreeing with anyone in church and responded “bless you” to everyone you shook hands with.
Guess what, we are all following the sound of the march without knowing what lyrics is been sung on it. It is actually easier to guarantee that we will keep going to church if we can reduce worship to a series of methodical responses.
And For The Emotional
I bet you might hola back at me to say “my responses are deeply felt and emotional“. “I am not stoic and rigid. I go with the flow in Church. I respond to the “God atmosphere” in the air. I roll with King David when it comes to Sunday worship”
Let me share a few thoughts from Alicia Chole:
“We have now mistaken experience for intimacy (with God). We are waiting to feel something in order to believe something. The problem is that we have raised ourselves to think that God is only around if we can feel him through the window of our emotions.”
I think she said it better than I could.
Don’t get me wrong, feelings and emotions are part of our service. That’s why we are charged to love the Lord with all our heart, soul & mind (Matt 22:37).
Feelings are nice but feelings maketh not intimacy with God. There has to be more.
It is actually easier to guarantee that we will keep going to church if we can reduce worship to a series of methodical responses.
And The Verdict Is…
Our response to Christianity can really be traced to what we understand Christianity to be.
Christianity is not about behavior modification, it is about heart transformation which leads to relationship restoration. Going to church should not be about experiencing an event but knowing more about a person – GOD.
Our faith has been reduced to learning about the disciplines and duties of a Christian forgetting about who we are here for.
Part of this has to do with what we expect when we go to church. There are two prevalent reasons we have fellowship:
1.Fellowship for solutions:
Nothing really wrong with this but if solutions are all you want out of Sunday, worship becomes a crutch that you grab hold of to take you through the week, month, or year. God is just another ATM that you slot into the worship card and punch in the PIN for a solution.
2.Fellowship for “WOW”:
Everyone likes to be wowed, why not get your “wow fix” in church? Your “wow” could be miraculous happenings, excellent artistry, and creativity on display, intelligent expression of thoughts, etc. You take your pick. God is your just seal of approval on the excellent display of wow that you see.
Christianity is not about behavior modification, it is about heart transformation which leads to relationship restoration. Going to church should not be about experiencing an event but knowing more about a person - GOD.
What Is Sunday Worship?
Sunday worship should be about us experiencing and bringing peace with God, peace with others and peace within.
We experience peace with God when we choose to make God’s vision for our lives the ultimate reason we exist. This starts with growing in our salvation and committing ourselves to living the dominion mandate (Eph 2:10, Gen 1:28). Forgetting our salvation or dominion mandate is not just about forgetting an event, it is forgetting a person – Jesus Christ.
We experience peace within when we choose to not hold the control to our lives tightly and surrender it all to God as the ultimate decision-maker in our lives. We remain calm in either a bounteous or dry season of life because God is more concerned about us than we could be concerned with ourselves (Phil 4:11-13).
We experience bringing peace with God to others when we choose to treat others the way God treats us. It’s not about loving your neighbors as yourself – it’s more. It’s loving your neighbors as God has loved you and serving their interests as Jesus would (John 13:34, John 15:13)
Bringing Your Sunday To Every Day
If your Sunday worship can reflect all these 3, then, you should have no problems. You will be able to take it into every day.
And emotions? they still come in play. In the words of Alicia Chole, “we must not ditch the emotional experience we create but we must under-gird it with the foundation of a faith that is based on the Word”
We will still get our solutions and our wows but they are no longer the focus. They are the side-dish that comes when we have a great Sunday Worship.
When intimacy with God becomes the goal of our lives, it becomes easier to integrate our Sunday worship to every day.
I am out to do that in my life
I hope you are doing the same in your life.