Have you ever been in a room where somebody told a joke, and it was a bit mean, but they tried to laugh it off? Or they told a joke, but it wasn’t really funny, so the joke-teller kept pressing and pressing until people laughed out of courtesy?

That’s church in America today. The joke is tired. No matter how many times we tell it, and no matter how much energy we expend, people no longer enjoy our churches. Like tired comedians, we’re going to be telling our church jokes to smaller and smaller audiences until the only ones who listen are other tired comics looking for next weekend’s material.

We’ve got some hard work to make church fresh, but it’s worth it.

Eternity is one helluva punchline.