My family and I were driving down to San Antonio, TX last weekend when I saw a banner on a church building near Waco, TX that quickly got my attention. The banner read: “30 Minute Worship.” I went to the website listed on the banner (which I won’t display here as I do not wish to dignify them with a link) which confirmed my outrage. They proudly state:
This innovative service is for anybody who is tired of the way traditional church has been done, has limited time, or has to work Sundays. The high energy, focused package will creatively engage you to personally connect with God.
The site goes to explain that 8-10 minutes will be spent in worship, 12-15 minutes of lesson time, and 5 minutes of response.
Before I begin, please hear me say that I do believe this COULD help those who work on Sundays. But for the statement, “tired of the way traditional church has been done,” I am outraged.
You mean to tell me that you think anyone can have a personally engaging worship time in 30 minutes? Have we lost all ability to spend actual time with God? Here I was thinking how crazy it is when people complain about worship going a few minutes longer than an hour. Are we so busy that we give God the “leftovers” of our time? It is as if we are approaching God saying, “Listen, I don’t know if you are aware of this, but I’m pretty busy down here so I don’t have much time to worship you. How about I squeeze you in on Sunday mornings…will 30 minutes do the trick? Will I have worshipped you enough in 30 minutes to last for the week? Cause, God, you don’t know how busy I am.”
The Hebrews in the Old Testament would have known the answer to these questions. They were commanded to bring the “first-fruits” of their labor as an offering to God. I contend that God deserves the “first-fruits” or ‘first and best cut” of my money, my work, and my TIME. Our weekly worship time should not be a time to squeeze God into our week, but rather a time to relish in the presence of God in the gathering of his people to worship. God deserves our very best, and let’s also acknowledge please that worship is not about us.
Sure, worship uplifts us and draws us closer to God, but God is the object of our worship. Our worship is for Him and to Him, and I refuse to short-change God by limiting my time or my spirit in worship.
30 Minute Worship, eh? I’m sure glad that God doesn’t have anything on His schedule that prevents Him from hearing us when we cry out. I’m glad Jesus didn’t have a prior commitment that would have prevented him dying for my sins. God deserves the best we can give…and I commit to not allowing this world and its busy nature to ruin what I can give to my God.
(I was going to apologize for the rant…but some things in life deserve it!)