I have an evening kitchen routine. I do the dishes or at least load the dishwasher, wipe down the counters, and sometimes sweep the floors before shutting off the lights. It is a joy to get up to a clean kitchen every morning.
Developing routines helps us accomplish more without having to think about what we are doing, but routines can be boring.
Some churches have removed rituals and liturgies from their worship, replacing hymns with choruses, pipe organs with guitars, a full choir with a worship team. Other churches hang onto hundred-year-old rituals of worship, which the present-day worshiper cannot relate to.
Rituals and routines are part of Christianity. After all, it was Jesus Himself that said at the last supper, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19.
The problem is rituals can take the place of a vital personal relationship with Jesus. Instead of committing our hearts and lives to Jesus, a ritual allows us to go through a show of commitment. Instead of burying our old selves in water baptism and rising from the water into new life, we just get wet. Instead of singing with our hearts to the Lord, we mumble through unfamiliar and meaningless words to a tune that is too high for the common voice to sing.
The answer to this dilemma is following the Lord in the Christian life with our hearts and not our minds. As we go through each ritual of the church, whether singing, water baptism, commitment, we should keep our focus on Him.
With Jesus Christ as the center of your worship experience, the routines will not become ruts.