Extra from Volume 9#3 by Kristel M.

I have been a pastor’s daughter since I was 6 years old. The church pew has been a familiar place every Sunday morning and evening, and every Wednesday night. Thus, when I was about 10 or 11 years old, I had become used to hearing the same old story of Jesus. Church became boring to me, and I no longer listened to the sermons. Unfortunately, I have met other girls like myself who have felt or still feel the same way I did at that time. Church wasn’t a place to worship and serve God to me; rather, it was a place to get together with friends after a long, monotonous service. Even after my salvation a year or two later, this mental pattern was hard for me to break. Church still seemed boring because I was used to thinking of it that way. My spiritual growth only occurred in times of devotion. However, God soon put His finger on my sinful attitude toward church, but it was quite a while before I was willing to do anything about it.

In the past year or so, God has been reshaping my thinking. It all started one Wednesday night as I was getting ready for church. Since our church is small, I typically didn’t worry too much about how I looked. My parents had a standard for our dress, but that was as far as I went. However, that night, I just felt like dressing up. I put on a fancy white skirt and a colorful, pretty blouse--contrary to my usual khaki and plaid. Suddenly, church seemed like a big deal, and important. The songs that we sang seemed like they were chosen just for me, because as I focused on the words, they applied to what I was going through at the time. Dad’s sermon challenged me to live for God even in the little things, and I started to take notes. Going home, I felt refreshed and inspired for the rest of the week. Church had, for the first time in several years, been a blessing to me! And it all started when I had treated church as important. My attitude had been, up until that time, one of carelessness and frustration. That night changed everything, for as I began to treat church with a respectful attitude, I began to glean more spiritually from the services. Suddenly I realized that it was I who had been the problem, not my dad or the song leader or anyone else.

I wanted to share my story, because I know that for some of us who have been in church our whole lives, attending services doesn’t seem very exciting. I want to encourage each of you that feel as I did, to ask God to reshape your thinking. Ask Him to reveal any disrespectful or irreverent attitudes toward church that you may have allowed to subtly influence your life. I have discovered that my detrimental attitudes toward church even affected my siblings--so it is important for us to take care of those attitudes as soon as possible!