The more I “do” ministry, the more I discover that most people go through life on auto pilot. I tend to do the same thing. We have different auto pilot settings depending on the circumstance. There are settings for work, family, church, social gatherings, sports, school, court, public transportation, night clubs, first time encounters, etc.
The auto pilot helps you navigate the situation without making a big social blunder or exposing yourself to some kind of personal attack or being vulnerable in any way. The auto pilot keeps our facade in tact and reputation golden. But does it also keep us from really living?
What happens when you “go to church” every week with the auto pilot on? You may be a regular at the Sunday service but never really encounter God or others Christians. The auto pilot allows you to have a “good time” without having to make any major changes to your coarse.
If we want to see the power of God mainfest in the church, we must be willing to take off the auto pilot. The price may be great, but the rewards are beyond comprehension. Unfortunatley, most are not willing to take off the auto pilot. They would rather play it safe.
Church leaders can help people see their need to take off the auto pilot by creating gatherings which by design force people to face the unexpected. What would happen if a pastor walked out half way through a sermon and encouraged the congregation to read the Scripture passage for themselves and discuss it with those around them? What would happen if a worship leader introduced the novelty of worship without music? What would happen if a foot washing ceremony mysteriously landed on the Sunday agenda one week? What would happen if prophets started acting like they did in the Old Testament? Some of these guys did some pretty outrageous things just to get the people’s attention…No I’m not encouraging anyone to take their clothes off like Isaiah did.
The medium can really be the message. How we do things can matter more than what the preacher says from the pulpit. People remember more what you do than what you say.
Sometimes our church practices run contrary to our words. This destroys the effectiveness of the message and causes people to turn away from the church. If you want to see the power restored to the church, be willing to take the auto pilot off and let God be God.
Who knows what could happen then!!!