Seated at the piano in front of our church, tears came to my eyes. We were singing a familiar song, but on this particular day, when I sang the words, “The story of redemption written on his hand…” from the sheet of music in front of me, I wasn’t just leading our congregation in worship or thinking about Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. I was reflecting on the entire story of the Bible.
In the span of several seconds, story after story from the Bible flashed before my eyes. Adam and Eve leaving the garden of Eden, clothed with the promise of deliverance from their sin (Gen. 3:15, 21–24). Noah and his family, delivered from the flood (Gen. 8:15–19). The Israelites walking out of Egypt and crossing the Red Sea, freed from the bondage of slavery and headed to the Promised Land (Ex. 14:30–31). Abraham, Rahab, Ruth, King David, and countless others that God wove into his redemptive story entered my mind.
I was expected to sing into a microphone, so I couldn’t give in to my tears, but for the rest of the morning I couldn’t shake the realization that came over me at the piano that day. Years of regular Bible reading and a growing knowledge of God’s Word were enhancing my experience in church.
If Church Feels Boring
Many of us attend church on a regular basis. We know it’s good for us, and we’re committed to being involved. Yet sometimes, being at church doesn’t feel enjoyable. We sing along with the songs, but we rarely consider the words. Our Bibles are open, but we can’t seem to concentrate during the sermon. We partake in the Lord’s Supper, but instead of enjoying the feast before us, we’re wondering which restaurant offers the best Sunday brunch. Conversations with others before or after the service can feel shallow or disappointing.
In short, church sometimes feels boring. It can be difficult to engage our hearts in worship. Sometimes we walk away from a church service feeling no different than when we walked in the door. I’ve experienced this kind of boredom myself. But I’ve noticed a pattern: when I’m reading my Bible throughout the week, my experience at church is more fulfilling.
If you, too, struggle with boredom at church, I’d like to challenge you to try something. Read your Bible throughout the week. Read it alone, read it in community, allow it to soak into your soul on a daily basis, and see what happens. When we know God’s Word, we can engage in the means of God’s grace for us within the local church.
Knowing God’s Word Stirs Our Hearts to Worship
Music has a way of stirring the soul. Sometimes even secular songs prick our hearts and kindle an emotional response. But when music contains what we know to be true about God, the person and work of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit within us, our reaction is more than just emotional. Our hearts are stirred to worship, and that worship is deeper when we know God’s Word:
We can sing about choosing to bless God’s name even if he may “give and take away” because we know God’s faithfulness to Job and Job’s response to suffering (Job 1:21).
As we cry out, “I will wait for you,” we join in the cries of God’s people, who lamented to him with Psalm 130.
Songs that proclaim the power of the cross, the hope of the resurrection, and the joy awaiting us in heaven move us to awe because we know these are true realities revealed to us in Scripture (1 Pet. 1:3–4).
If we don’t know the Bible, we will miss the depth of truth about which we sing. When we’re deeply rooted in God’s Word, songs tethered to the gospel will stir our hearts to sing out in worship to our God (Ps. 9:2).
Knowing God’s Word Broadens Our Understanding of the Sermon
Several years ago, our community group began studying the sermon passage for the upcoming week. This primed our hearts and minds for the church service because we had already engaged with the passage we would hear explained on Sunday morning. It was so much easier to pay attention when I was already curious about what our pastor had to say.
This doesn’t just happen when I study the sermon text beforehand. Almost every Sunday, something in the sermon connects to a passage I read in my Bible earlier in the week. It is absolutely not boring when the Holy Spirit uses your pastor’s sermon to help you understand something you couldn't quite get during your personal Bible study on Thursday morning. Hearing a weekly sermon shouldn’t be an isolated learning experience but rather an expansion of our study throughout the week.
Knowing God’s Word Makes the Lord’s Supper Sweeter
For the past six years, we’ve attended a church that observes Communion every week. At first, this felt excessive. But as time has gone on, and as I’ve grown in my understanding of the gospel, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is more meaningful:
As the elements slide into my mouth, I’m thinking about the Passover in Egypt, when the Israelites slathered blood on their doorways in order to spare their firstborn sons (Ex. 12:23).
I recall the bread God provided for his people in the wilderness to satisfy their needs and point them to their greatest need (Deut. 8:3).
I think of Jesus’ promise to the crowds on the hillside, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).
It’s only through studying God’s Word that I’ve been able to make these connections. As my understanding of God’s Word grows, the Lord’s Supper has become a tangible way for me to remember Jesus and “taste and see that the LORD is good” (Ps. 34:8).
Knowing God’s Word Deepens Our Fellowship in Church
How often do we walk into church and instantly look for our good friends? Or perhaps we sit down and wait for someone to initiate a conversation, only to leave feeling overlooked. Both attitudes are selfish and lack an understanding of true Christian fellowship. Regular exposure to God’s Word throughout the week will transform how we think of others. Instead of seeking to gain from gathering with God’s people, we will look for opportunities to serve. When we walk into the room, we’ll notice the ones who haven’t connected to community, and we’ll be quick to heed James’ warning against favoritism within the church (James 2:1–7).
Our knowledge of God’s Word also transforms our conversations. As we lean over the pew or linger in the foyer, we can be quick to listen, slow to speak, willing to speak the truth in love, and eager to build one another up (James 1:19; Eph. 4:15, 29). If we don’t know the Bible, we cannot engage in deep fellowship with other believers.
Church doesn’t need to be boring. Allow your regular Bible reading throughout the week to prepare your heart for church. And when the tears flow from your eyes as you sing, listen, taste, and engage with God’s people, stand in awe at the beauty and power of God’s Word.
Your Friend, Lauren
Meet the author: Lauren Washer is a wife, mom of six, and a lifelong student of God’s Word. She’s actively involved in the women’s ministry of her local church through teaching the Bible and leading small groups. She learned how to study the Bible at Columbia International University, where she received a B.S. in Bible and Intercultural Studies. When she’s not playing LEGOs, changing diapers, or helping her older children navigate preteen emotions, she enjoys reading, cooking, and getting a full night of sleep. You can find more of her writing on Instagram or her website.