Ever felt like you’re just “going through the motions”? We can easily learn how to play our part; how to act, speak, dress and do all that is “expected” of us.
If you’ve been involved in church for a while, it’s so easy to just get into the rhythm of serving week-in, week-out and lose sight of whom we are serving, and why. This is true whether you’re in the creative team, or the kids ministry, or making coffees for people (if you’re in one of them funky churches with a cafe!).
If I’m really honest with myself, and with you, I can say there have been times where I’ve been leading worship and leading a team, and I feel like I’ve merely played the role, the way an actor would in a movie or stage performance. I’ve come in on cue, dressed the right way, said and sung the right things at the right times. But then I’d go home and feel like I’d been “going through the motions”. Sometimes I’d feel like I hadn’t even connected with God, despite the fact that others may have done so through ‘my ministry’. (that whole ‘my ministry’ thing I’ll leave for another post!)
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.” (Matthew 6:6 – The Message)
It’s important to recognise quickly that you’re in that place, or getting to that place, and don’t just let the weeks roll on before you do something about it. Let’s not get so caught up in the task of serving that we let it become ‘a job’ that we do.
Then we need to retreat – do what the scripture says and get away to a secluded place and just be honest with God and yourself. How are you daily devotions going? The retreat doesn’t have to be a massive ‘Moses on the mountain’ experience (although I think that’s really important to do!) but even just reinstating a 15 minute ‘retreat’ each day can be so valuable. Change a few things – read a different translation, try a different devotional, ask God to speak to you in a fresh way.
As we do that, the focus shifts from us to an incredible fresh revelation of who He is!
Most of the time, if we feel like we’re just “role-playing”, it’s because we’ve allowed our relationship with God to drift and go a little stale. It will be no surprise to know that the times I’ve been brimming with fresh revelation of God, and excited about what He’s been speaking to me about personally are the times that I’ve been most engaged in corporate worship. The focus shifts from me to God and I get a greater sense of his grace!
Have you ever felt like you’re just “role-playing” before God? What did you do? Maybe you feel like that now?