Archived Story

Ask Abbie: Considering a new church home

Published 1:54pm Saturday, June 8, 2013

by Abbie Long

Question: My wife and I have been attending the same church for many years. Our current pastor is a very nice person but I keep finding myself bored with his sermons. Even though my wife is okay with where we are I am sure she would try another church with me if I asked. It would be nice to find another one whose services I actually enjoyed but sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t even go looking. It’s a really hard decision for me. What do you think?

Answer: Eleven in one hour. All of the missed calls were from an unknown number. No voice mail was left. The frequency of their distractions was starting to divert your attention from more important tasks at hand. Your strategy in the past to ignore this type of caller, who you assumed to be a persistent telemarketer, would put an end to the calls but was yet to work in this case. Enough was enough. The next time you were going to take action. As your phone vibrated you looked at the screen to make sure it was from an unknown number and then promptly excused yourself from the sanctuary to take the call before it went to voice mail. “Hello? Hello?”

Suddenly you feel an elbow in your side and the sound of your wife telling you to wake up and keep your voice down. Evidently you had fallen asleep during another sermon and were trying to answer the phone in your dream out loud. Even though your pastor’s message couldn’t get through to you as you slept, God can still use the message you did receive in your dream to help you understand and defeat the current struggle you are having with boredom.

The caller’s identity in your dream was officially unknown yet based on certain characteristics of it you assumed it was a telemarketer and you chose how best to react. You may not know the identity of the one placing the calls of boredom to your spirit yet once you look at certain characteristics of it you will have clarification of whom it is and be better able to choose how best to react. Ephesians 6 states that no struggle in one’s life is against flesh and blood but rather against the spiritual forces of evil, otherwise known as the enemy. The enemy will use any tactic, including boredom, to distract one’s focus away from the other task at hand when that task involves an opportunity to strengthen his relationship with God. Your boredom is from the enemy, not from your pastor. Let this biblical truth compel you into taking action to defeat the enemy and his distractive attempts to bore your spirit.

As you choose your strategy consider whether or not the major purpose of the church; which is to fill your spirit with inspiration, comfort, encouragement, growth, and fellowship, is still being accomplished within you and around you in spite of your pastor’s sermons. In order to make this assessment take an honest look at your own level of spiritual maturity in comparison to the level of those who serve at your church as leaders and elders. If you determine your own spirit to be more mature that those of your other church leaders, meaning your spirit has no room to grow, you should look for another place of worship that is more appropriately equipped to encourage and inspire your spiritual maturity.

If, however, you determine there are leaders and elders within your church who can inspire your growth and provide you with additional opportunities for your spiritual fulfillment, apart from your pastor’s sermons, you need to realize your anxiousness to look for another church is a direct and distracting attack from the enemy. Tell him out loud he has no right to you and that where there is light there cannot be dark and since you are light and he is darkness it is impossible for him exist. Watch as he tucks his tail under, runs away, and as you start to enjoy the victory of your spirit becoming inspired, comforted, encouraged, and matured at your current church.

If you continue to struggle with sermon boredom try shifting your focus away from the separate parts of the church and onto the church as a whole as referenced to in 1 Corinthians 12. By doing so you will begin to see just because one part of a body is weak it doesn’t keep it from being a body with an overall beautiful purpose. In addition look for other motivating teachings and preachings outside of your church for added inspiration.

Picture the enemy smiling every time he diverts your focus away from doing God’s work. Use this image anytime you face a struggle with another person or with your own self. Aim your anger, resentment, and frustration toward that picture instead of toward the undeserving source. Not only will you start to see those telemarketers and your pastor’s sermons in a different light, but also the world. Now that’s a call worth answering.

Even if part of a body is weak, it doesn’t keep it from being a body with an overall beautiful purpose. In addition, look for other motivating teachings and preachings outside of your church for added inspiration.

Picture the enemy smiling every time he gets you to focus away from doing God’s work. Use this image anytime you face a struggle with another person or with your own self. Aim your anger, resentment, and frustration toward that picture instead of toward the undeserving source. Not only will you start to see those telemarketers and your pastor’s sermons in a different light but also the world.

Now that’s a call worth answering.

Abbie Long is a Franklin native and advice columnist for The Tidewater News. Submit your questions to askabbie@tidewaternews.com.

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