When you love your local church, it's fun to gather with the people of God. We look forward to hanging out with people we love each weekend.
I'm arguing in this post, however, that church should be at least a little bit uncomfortable for all of us. Here's why:
1. You will be worshiping the one and only, true and living God. If you understand that truth properly, worship should drive you to your face in awe and wonder. There's nothing comfortable about that position.
2. The Word of God penetrates to the depth of our being (Heb. 4:12). Assuming the Word is preached at your church, you should not be fully at ease when you hear it. None of us measures up to perfection in the light of the Word.
3. All of us have sin to deal with. It's impossible not to see our sin when we encounter the presence of God. Uncomfortable conviction should be a part of hearing the Word sung and preached.
4. Lost people should be there. That means that people who talk differently, think differently, and even sometimes look different than believers should be present. Some believers don't know what to do with that kind of person.
5. You'll have to deal with that person who "gets under your skin." The church is a family, and every family has somebody that's a bit hard to take. That tension you feel, though, means you need to deal with your feelings as the Lord challenges you.
6. The command of the Great Commission is still in effect. None of us can avoid Jesus' mandate that we make disciples of our neighbors and the nations (Matt. 28:18-20). Because there's always somebody else to be reached, our conviction and burden should grow under the teaching of the Word.
7. If you're a leader, you'll answer for the way you care for the souls of the church (Heb. 13:17). That responsibility should create enough discomfort to lead you to pray when you awaken in the morning and when you lie down at night.
Here's the bottom line: Worship ought to overwhelm you, stretch you, convict you, burden you, challenge you, move you and transform you—even lead to your salvation if you're not already a believer. If you attend worship this weekend and leave just like you came, something's amiss. You might be way too comfortable.
Chuck Lawless is Dean and Vice-President of Graduate Studies and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions. In addition, he is Global Theological Education Consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
For the original article, visit chucklawless.com.
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