There’s no getting around it—church can be boring. If you’re like many, you come on Sunday morning, bleary-eyed from a late Saturday night, sit on a hard, uncomfortable pew, and play with your phone for two hours. The pastor or priest drones on, and you can barely pay attention to the theological gobbledygook that’s coming out of his mouth. Afterward, you leave, the service quickly fading from your mind as you move on with your life.
If this is you, you’re missing out.
Here’s a secret: church is actually pretty exciting. In fact, it could very well become the highlight of your week if you make one simple change in the way you think: learn to see the big picture.
What does this mean? It means thinking about Christianity—you know, that thing your pastor is talking about—in terms of its grand importance. We’re talking cosmic, life-changing, world-saving importance here.
Once you realize the magnitude of what you’re learning every Sunday, you may just find the motivation to pay attention. Suddenly, you’ll be excited. Services will end, and you’ll find yourself wanting more.
So what does learning to see the big picture of the Christian mission involve? Let’s take a look!
Consider the Context
Seeing the big picture of Christianity begins with learning to understand the Word of God in context—this means taking the time to learn the historical context, speaker, and audience of any Bible chapter or verse you’re dealing with.
Consider this statement from Matthew 4: 9:“And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
Taken out of its context, you might think that’s God speaking.
Nope. It’s the Devil. Go read the chapter and see for yourself.
Every verse of the Bible has a specific speaker, a historical context, a speaker, and an audience, and together, these form the context of the verse. And when we have context, we have understanding, and when we have understanding, we have relevancy—those old verses you thought talked about nothing important are suddenly revealed to contain life-changing information when you’re able to fully comprehend them.
What’s more, you’ll realize that all this stuff in the Bible isn’t just words—it actually took place in history. For instance, around the time of the Crucifixion, people in West Mexico were busy building their famous shaft tombs to house their dead. The Roman Emperor Tiberius was retiring from his position. Civilizations from all over the world were going about their business as usual.
This helps you take the Bible out of its drab church setting and see it for what it is—an ancient document spanning thousands of years that details the story of the God of the universe and His creations in the real world. When you’re at church, actually take the time to listen, and listen with this in mind.
You may just find something to get excited about.
You’ve Been Given a Mission
The first time you saw the old Star Wars movies, did you ever wish that you could stumble into your own grand adventure? Do you ever wish that you’d be discovered by a wise old man, told that you have powers and a purpose, and that your destiny is to be sent on a mission to save the world?
Well, you have been on that mission. You just don’t know it yet.
Instead of Yoda and Obi-Wan, you’ve got the Holy Trinity, and instead of battling the Sith, you’re fighting against ignorance and human suffering.
The mission of the Christian Church is, as Jesus said, to go out into the world, make disciples, and baptize others in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching all we encounter what God has commanded.
But why is this important?
Well, you know, it’s just important because the eternal souls of all mankind are at stake. That’s all.
God didn’t give mankind commands on how to live correctly just to be restrictive—every rule God gives us is for our own spiritual or physical good. They keep us from harming one another, and ultimately, they keep our souls safe from an eternal separation from God.
It’s your mission to bring God’s saving wisdom to the world around you. And it doesn’t stop there—we’re also to alleviate suffering wherever we find it, just as Christ did. We’re to display the love of God, feed the poor, care for the unloved, and help others to do the same.
So the next time you’re sitting in your pew, idly playing solitaire on your tablet, remember that the God of the universe has sent you on a special mission, and that what the pastor is saying is information vital to that mission. Don’t miss out.
Think about the nature of God. Really—just think about it. God is a being that exists outside of time, a being that that created the entire universe, who sustains all life at all times, who knows and sees everything at once. He’s huge—cosmic, even.
Even Satan, God’s mightiest enemy, is no match or equal for Him, and is destined to be utterly destroyed by God in the end.
When you realize that this is the God who spoke out of a storm to Job, who gave Samson superhuman strength, who created a universe, solar system, and world that is capable of perfectly sustaining life, it leaves you with a sense of awe rather than boredom.
If you’re finding your attention flagging in church, remember how big God really is. Remember the things He’s done. And remember, above all, how much He loves you. God isn’t confined to a book. He isn’t just a story. He’s a living being, powerful beyond belief.
Think cosmic, and you’ll find yourself more interested in learning about the big picture of God.
The Grandeur of God
Now that you have a better idea of how to see a bigger view of God and your Christian faith, you may find that it’s just a little easier to pay attention in church, and to get the most out of whatever your pastor has to say.
Remember—you’re not just there for you. You’re not there because you have to be. You’re there to learn about a crazy powerful God who loves you more than anything else ever could, and who has given you an important mission in life. Learn all you can, carry it out, and give Him praise.
Do this, and that phone will be staying in your pocket.