You had found a decent church, it had great big loud music, you made some cool Christian friends, had a pretty good pastor, and you did all the church activities.
But soon: it became a little routine, the flashy rocking music felt like ice picks in your brain, you became annoyed at some things in the sermon, your friends turned out to be not-so-cool and even downright hypocritical, and all the church activities were just self-serving programs. It all grew repetitive and you felt a widening distance between you and this “God” — and you began to wonder if you even really knew Him at all.
This is the story of millions of Christians.
The truth is: Every single person goes through a peeling back of layers to discover the real thing.
But for most people, they always expect the original excitement they had in the beginning. They hope to maintain the jumping-up-and-down, hopping-mad flashiness of youth group to “feel God again.”
This NEVER works out.
A couple married for fifty years will not feel the same butterflies when they held hands as high schoolers: but their years of perseverance have led to an ocean-deep commitment that is no longer lake-shallow. It’s the real thing. They managed to solidify their expectations of each other, both realizing that their feelings did NOT determine their relationship.
When your original feelings are gone — and trust me, those first feelings fade — it doesn’t mean that God is suddenly gone.
I’m afraid many churches make the mistake of topping themselves every week to give you a brand new rockshow experience, and it stretches your emotions to the breaking point. Exhausting. When you peel back the layers of a “show-church,” often there’s nothing inside.
I really don’t mean to be one more guy bad-mouthing the local church. There’s enough of that already. It’s not all their fault. It’s possible that even in a really rocked out ministry, you can peel back the glitter and actually find depth. But we just need to overcome those initial growing pains.
Let’s expect that we’ll all outgrow the emotional hype and eventually mature into a thoughtful faith — while at the same time having a new excitement that is grounded in who God really is.
4 thoughts on “Settling Into Jesus: A Good Thing”
Your summary paragraph at the end is truly a warning and a challenge to everyone who names Jesus as Boss and Saviour – shift from shallow – go for growth!
My husband and I went through the ’90’s renewal movement together (mostly at the Vineyard church in Canada – John Arnott, pastor). We came into it in ’95. 3-1/2 years later he preached a sermon about how the manifestations of the renewal had become a “drug” for man. Your post above reminded me of that message. Nice post!
Yes, I was just listening to a message about how “revival” can’t really be packaged — and while it’s not a terribly original thing to say, it seems everyone’s trying to find the secret to keep the church emotionally amped up, when there’s no such secret.
And no reason to “keep the church amped up” except drug addiction. 😉