Warning signs over sanctuary doors

Will Willimon was the dean of the Duke University Chapel. There was a student who had never been to chapel and didn’t have any intention of going. 

Willimon asked him why. The student explained that things were going pretty well in his life and he didn’t want to get “jerked around” by God in a worship service!

His meaning was that during these services, God reaches into our lives to get our attention, to transform us, and to move us in new directions—things that might not otherwise happen.

Willimon went on to wonder if we should put warning signs over the sanctuary doors in our churches.* Imagine walking into a sanctuary that had a sign which read: “Warning: Risk of Being Jerked Around by God.”

When you worship, are you open to an actual encounter with the living God? 

He uses everyday people, praises, prayers and programs to bring himself glory, and to build up his people as the body of Christ.

“Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth” (Psalm 96:9).

When it comes to a Sunday service, the difference between watching and worshipping is what happens in the heart.


–“The kind of worshiper God wants.” Sermon. March 20, 2022. Click here.

–*Arthur Van Seters, Preaching and Ethics (St. Louis: Chalice, 2004), 52.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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