Christianity Is Boring

I recently wrote about our addiction to adventure. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Yes, there is something repetitious about the Christian life. Following Jesus isn’t necessarily about going into new territory every day. Often, it’s about doing the same things over and over and over…

Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” —Luke 9.23

Taking up one’s cross daily is – I don’t know any other way to say it – repetitive. Even Jesus (who was perfect) participated in these repetitive things.

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Richard Beck has written a great post entitled “A Million Boring Little Things” in which he says…

Being more and more like Jesus is a million boring little things.

Here’s his entire post—seriously, read it.

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I was talking to one of my students recently about the temptations of youthful spirituality, how when you are young you get addicted to the buzz of the worship high and then go searching for a more intense fix. You become a worship junkie.

From your high school youth group on being close to God is being ON FIRE! Because God is AWESOME!

That’s the temptation for youth, being trained to associate God with adrenaline and the Spirit with excitement.

What I told my student was this: what no one ever shares with you when you’re young is that Christianity is boring. No one tells you that. That Christianity, for the most part, is boring.

No one tells you that Christianity is a 70 to 80 year grind in becoming more kind, more gentle, more giving, more joyful, more patient, more loving.

You learn that God isn’t in the rocking praise band or the amped up worship experience. What you learn after college is that Holy Ground is standing patiently in a line. You learn that Holy Ground is learning to listen well to your child, wife or co-worker. Holy Ground is being a reliable and unselfish friend or family member and being a good nurse when someone is sick. Holy Ground is awkward and unlikely friendships. Holy Ground is often just showing up.

Being more and more like Jesus is a million boring little things.

No one ever tells you that when you’re young. Just like no one ever tells you just how risky and revolutionary it all is.

That a truly radical life of following Jesus is made up of a million boring little things.


I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

3 Comments to Christianity Is Boring

  1. I agree that Christianity can be repetitious – I read my bible in the same spot, at nearly the same time every day. I pray around the dinner table and as I’m getting into bed every night. I’m at church every Sunday singing many of the same songs. I’ve eaten the bread and partook of the grape juice during communion more times than I know.
    And while I do get what the author is saying here, I do wonder – maybe Christianity is as boring as we choose to let it be?
    That “worship high” I got back at youth summer camp is still the same feeling I get often during worship today – especially as I stand in the back and watch an entire church praise God, or as I raise my own hands, completely lost in the moment – no concern for who is around me, or how high my hands are raised – it’s just me and God.
    I get “Holy Ghost” goosebumps every time my friend Georgia leads a song from the platform, or as I watch a friend I know is personally struggling lift their own hands in complete surrender to the Lord.
    I’m overjoyed when I watch my friend Kyle lead an entire church in a song that he has poured his heart into writing, or when someone on the teaching team shares a message God has laid on their heart.
    I love sitting down with new friends at church and hearing their story for the first time. Where they come from, how they’ve gotten here. I’m always amazed at what some people have lived through.
    I find excitement in all these things.
    There’s absolutely nothing boring in my opinion about watching kids worship God. To really see them give it all they got – whether they’re dancing around and yelling or closing their eyes and raising a hand in a quiet moment. It’s something I get to witness every single week.
    Participating in the Big Gives we do at the church is probably one of the best things I do throughout the year. There isn’t time for boring! Its new people, new faces, new stories, and smiles everywhere!
    The trip I took to Brooklyn, NY last month – opened my eyes to new things. I’m grateful for that experience.
    I believe I get to be a part of all these things, to witness them, because I am a Christian. Because I choose to participate, serve, step out of my comfort zone, stretch myself, and experience new things.
    So yes, while being a Christian is full of repetitiveness – maybe it’s only as boring as you let it be.
    Just my two cents worth…

    • I find all those things you mentioned to be exciting too. After all these years, they “don’t get old.” And for as unexpressive and mellow as I am, I honestly find church to be thrilling – a real roller coaster. I’m frequently moved to tears, get goosebumps, and am floored at how privileged we are to get to be part of God’s work in the world today.

      But I think your examples, at least for the most part, are about church (services and events).

      And that’s what Richard Beck was saying “nobody tells you when you are young…” – the church services and events are exciting, but the Christian life itself is a million boring little things.

      Thinking about it from a % standpoint… what % of the typical Christian’s life is spent in church services and events?

      If the typical Christian spends 2 or 3 or even 4 hours a week at church, they still have approximately 108 hours of being awake and being a Christian outside of church. If they were at church 4 hours a week, that’s 3.5% of their waking hours. Maybe 96.5% of being a Christian is boring.

      Maybe my word “repetitious” is more palatable than Richard Beck’s “boring,” but I appreciate the reminder – that when the lights and cameras are guitar amps are turned off, my Christian life is still going, boring as that may be. I particularly appreciated this thought: “Christianity is a 70 to 80 year grind in becoming more kind, more gentle, more giving, more joyful, more patient, more loving.”

      I hope to grind it out well :)

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