It is so easy to drift into apathy in our faith.
As a week becomes, months and then years keeping any relationship alive is always a challenge and needs constant review. When it comes to our faith we need to regularly practice some new rhythm or structure to help us grow and flourish in our faith. As a church leader this is no different to me. It’s too easy to settle into a monotonous routine that lacks any passion or joy.
So, what can we do to elevate apathy in our faith?
1. TELL SOMEONE
Letting someone in on how you are doing is the first way you can start to shift from where you are. Things can easily look bad from the inside but from the outside others may have another impression. We can’t get ourselves out of apathy we need a friend or champion to encourage us, listen and push us. It is also possible to be apathetic because of our isolation. Many times in my life when I have felt apathetic it has been because I have isolated myself from the very people who bring me life and connect me with God. With someone now in the know, prayer becomes a powerful weapon to beat the apathy. Either prayer together or them praying for you.
2. PRACTICE REMEMBERING AND MAKE A FRESH START
If you have been a Christian for 1 year or 50 years there is always good things to remember. In our minds, going back to how we felt the first time we heard the good news can awaken our faith again. Reading a scripture that moved us or listening to the worship we enjoyed or place we connect with our faith can help us remember what we have lost. Long term marriages often celebrate 25 or 50 years together with a mini ceremony. If you made a commitment to Jesus when you were in your teens, ask yourself how are you going to make a fresh commitment now? Could you reaffirm your baptism vows?
3. TAKE TIME TO REASSESS HOW YOU GOT TO THIS PLACE OF APATHY.
Sin creates a divide between us and God that will lead us down a path of apathy. Unresolved sin in our lives will disrupt our spiritual habits and spiritual disciplines. As this sin is unresolved and left in the background it will always lead us to a faith crisis that question God and his ways. Regular confession with someone else or on your own will help us connect again with Gods grace.
4. LISTEN TO SOME FRESH VOICES.
I love listening to the music of my favourite bands, but when they release a new album I get especially excited because this means there is a fresh sound to listen to. Every Christian speaker and writer has a different angle on old things. Reading something by a different author, or listening to a sermon from someone outside of your usual circle can help stimulate a new response.
5. GET OUT
Sometimes the apathy we have towards God is actually apathy towards life in general. One way to shake this up is to get out and be a part of a bigger world. Try star gazing on a clear night. When we see the expansiveness of God’s creation, we can’t help but become more passionate. A remedy to self-centredness is realising how big God is and how relatively small we are. When we see the bigness of God’s creation we can’t help become more passionate.
Mission trips are a fantastic way of connecting to a bigger world and to gain a sense of how big God is. I remember the first time I went on a mission trip to Kenya. I was bored with Church and fed-up with the mundane faith. On the mission trip, I was suddenly aware of my own idolatry and my own kingdom of comfort. God used this time to introduce me to a new passion for evangelism as I remembered how good the good news is and how big an impact it will make into people’s lives. I became excited and burdened all at the same time.
Finding our purpose takes away a sense of apathy. When we have a sense of meaning, a way to contribute and when we see how we fit into God’s plans, we are ignited. Co-creating with God is the best remedy to apathy. This partnering with God draws us to spend time with Him, to hear his voice giving direction and to connect with other believers. Passion is fanned into flame when we know we are in the right place doing the right thing. My apathy was swept away when I caught sight of the grand plans God has for His world and how I could play a part within them.