My wife works at home raising our four sons. While that work is very rewarding she has days of what I call “cabin fever.” Not in the clinical sense; just a restlessness from having seen the same four walls, the same four people, and the same routine for a number of days in a row.
Sometimes, I believe the same things happen in the church. We see the exact same people, sit in the exact same pew, do the exact same things, and get in a rut that is sometimes unhealthy in our approach to the family of God. So consider some things that we can do to overcome “cabin fever” in the church.
“Rearrange the furniture.” Whenever my wife really starts feeling this way, she picks a room and rearranges it. This helps with the perception of what she sees in her daily routine. While not meaning it literally in regard to the church, one of the things that can help our perspective is to rearrange our “place” in the services. It is amazing how many people sit in the same pew, around the same people, holding the same conversations week after week. In smaller congregations this could include everyone, but in larger congregations, there are entire groups that rarely talk to each other because they sit on opposite sides of the building.
To alleviate the “sameness” of everything regarding services, sit in different parts of the building. This will allow you to strike up conversations with people that are not normally possible. It will also assist your perspective in worship. Most people cannot hear everyone in the building when they sing, but when you sit in different places you can then hear some beautiful voices you didn’t know existed. You can improve your service by better knowing the needs of others around you. It may not seem like much, but it can make a big difference.
“Make a play day.” Another thing my wife will do to overcome these feelings is to schedule a day to just get out and play. While not speaking of changing the services of the church or being irreverent in any way, sometimes Christians need “play days.” Times where they can come together in fellowship to laugh, enjoy one another’s company, relax and get to know one another better. This helps break the monotony of the day to day work and service of the church. It improves our relationships within the church and gives a sense that not only can the church work together and worship together, but they can be the family that God intends them to be.
The answer to issues of “cabin fever” in the church is not to jazz up the services; it is not to try to entertain people with a bunch of gimmicks that will make people stay for a while, then start looking for something “better;” it is simply to take the time to change our perspective. Spend time with your brethren in a different way. Strengthen the bonds between you by giving them the ability to do the same. It will strengthen your service and help keep your proper perspective in place.