A while back my Dad to church with me and the kids.  He suffers from dementia, and taking him for a half a day gave my mom and brother a bit of a break.  It was good for the grandkids to have some time with their Pop, and I got to hang out with Dad.  My brother thought it would be good for my dad to spend some time with us and hoped that he would find church ‘inspirational.’

That got me thinking…should church be inspirational?

I don’t think it’s an easy ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

As a believer, I attend church each week to worship my Lord, to fellowship with the family of God, to be fed by the Word.  I hope to be convicted and challenged, exhorted and encouraged.  In a way, I suppose I hope to be inspired, although that is not the word I would use.  But not in the worldly, ‘you can do it if you put your mind to it’ way.  I hope to be inspired to live a godly life and to trust in the promises of God.

My dad is an unbeliever.  Should church inspire him in some way?  I think not.  It seems to me that an unbeliever should have one of two responses when attending a Bible believing, Bible preaching church.  They should be convicted in a way that brings them to repentance, or it should convict them in a way that angers them.

See, the Word tells us that the cross is a stumbling block for unbelievers (1 Peter 2:8). It is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Cor 1:18).  Christ crucified is not some feel good, inspirational message.  It is an offensive message.  It tells us that we are wicked sinners in need of forgiveness.  To an unrepentant sinner, that ought to cause offense. To a sinner who recognizes his or her sin and comes to repentance, then the message of the cross is the most unbelievable, life changing message ever heard.  With either response, it doesn’t qualify as ‘inspirational.’

So if our church services inspire our unbelieving guests, we may need to rethink how we are ‘doing church.’