Watch or Worship
Twice in my life I have joined a gym. The first occasion was a decade ago, at the behest of my new bride and a persistent trainer (who was a member at the church I pastored). The shiny equipment and promise of washboard abs drew me like a moth to a flame. A year long commitment seemed trite compared to my renewed angst to be chiseled. I signed up the first of August and over the next twelve months may have stepped foot in that gym three times. My body didn’t tone as my cash disappeared.
As odd as it is to see folks (especially in January each year) subscribe to a gym or hire a trainer and then never show, it would be all the more odd for them to actually show up, stand and stare at the equipment, nod at the drills, and then argue that they are somehow participating. A little FaceTime in front of a treadmill is not exercise. Voicing your appreciation for a weight bench, while refusing reps is not participation. I think we can all agree.
Yet there are still Christians who slip into church every other Sunday as the music begins, stand with one hand in a pocket while the other grips a steaming beverage, and then argue that they have participated. It should be logically obvious from the narrative above and it is certainly Biblically apparent that Christ calls His church – of which you as a believer are a part – to more than this. He calls us to counter-cultural, self-denying, God-exalting worship.
Gone should be the day of aimlessly staring at a list of ministries on a slip of paper wondering if you should serve. Gone should be the moments where the praises of Jesus are rhythmically declared by His people yet your soul is not stirred to joyfully join in the refrain. Gone should be the time where your blood-bought soul and mine should have to be consistently chastised by a preacher to actually tell people about Jesus. A refusal on any or all these disciplines is akin to standing, cross-armed in a gym, oddly gazing at a dude doing squats and wondering why he is fit while you are not.
Gospel impact and the glory of God in your life call for wallet-opening, hand-raising, anthem-singing, people-serving, Jesus-proclaiming participation. We shouldn’t be merely watching.