I gotta keep this simple as I’m on melunch break:
Bible: I certainly haven’t even gotten close to reading the entire book(s) yet. I find it really hard though. I was brought up a catholic and i find it hard not to slip into the gea i was brought up on – i.e. fall asleep. It’s notall the time but I have to make sure i pay attention when I read. I have tried a Bible-in-a-year-plan and it doesn’t work form me. I appreciate tht in doing so, you’re gonna miss alot of good stuff but some people do these plans over and over and it starts to sink in. I wish I had a better knowledge of the bible and i also wish i had the patience to let The Big Man reveal himself ah HIS pace and not my own.
Sermons: I think any church can get stle after a while. In fact it’s almost human to d so. Because of the brokeness of the world its almost inevitable. Sermons can be hit and miss but i would say every sermon is wrth its weight in Gold if it touches or challenges just one person in any way.
I am lucky tobelong to a church where many ppeople preach, not just the Vicar. My wife is a preacher at our church and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like it it was all left down to one person.
When it comes to “practicing what is preached” i’d say this: I’m sure there are many people in many congregations who hear the sermon for the duration then say”oh how nice” and then forget it. This is truly tragic. However when i find myself doing this i realise I’m looking at what othrers aren’t doing rather than what I could be doing for God.
Also I think if you are in a church with a really tight community it works better. I’ve had people come to me with prphetoic words and versus after sermons which felt dead to me and it was those prophesies that made it come alive.
Music: This i think is an easy issue. Each to their own! We are all lucky to be able to have so many diffrent styles of worship in our churches. If your church is stuck in its ways then get creative. Doing a study on worship is amazing as it really helps to think through these things.
Not everyone is gonna enjoy a loud band with drums nd electric guitars, others wont enjoy or connect through latin organ hyms. Keeping an open mind and expressin worship in a way that helps you connect is essential. Dont forget though that God has the biggest sence of humour of all and he may just be challenging you on something as small as that lil kid who hits the tambourine out of time.
Community: I already wrote on this which you saw but I’d like to add that you are so right on this. A church where relationship with eachother is themain focus is not right. Focus shoould be on Jesus but sharing that experience through community is where it works.
Dont forget the support that community provides – from helping out during hrd times to challenging you in ways you need to be challenged.