top of page

Spiritual Mediocrity

What is spiritual mediocrity?


Matthew 24:36-39 However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.


I think Jesus said it best here … it is a time when Noah's generation was unaware uninterested, and unprepared for what was about to happen. It is exactly what Jesus said would happen just before His return.


Matthew 24:37 When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day, unaware, uninterested, and unprepared.


Spiritual mediocrity is the worst condition a person can find themselves experiencing.  Why? Jesus again defined it:


Revelation 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.


Spiritual mediocrity is a condition where the desire for God cools off, and there is a shift to other things, not necessarily bad things, but other things not related to growing spiritual life.  Let me illustrate this condition with these statistics.


A survey in 2021, found that only 11 percent of Americans read the Bible daily. Trends in reading habits over four years showed the majority of Americans never read the Bible. Under 30 years of age, just 1% have a Biblical worldview. It rises to 3% for people in their 30's, and 40's goes to 5% in people in their 50's and 60s.  It peaks at 8% for people 65 and older.


What that says to me is that we are not gaining any ground in pushing back the darkness and evil in our day. How can we? It’s like recruiting an army to protect a country and less than 3% of the eligible people will apply for the job.


What happens to a person who slips into spiritual mediocrity? There may be many reasons, but I can tell you how it has happened to me. For me, I have spent my life reading, writing, and preaching the Spiritual content in the Bible. It brings me great joy to see people respond to God through the communication I have produced. It is much easier for someone who is a bestselling author to continue to write because there is an incentive to continue to write because of the reputation you acquired by selling a lot of books. If success does not come, you ask yourself, "What is the purpose for all these hours of studying and writing, if it will never find its way to the people it was intended?”


It is easier, I believe to live out a reputation of success, than it is a life that has not reached the potential that was expected. It is like most Seminary students following graduation will be pastoring a Church of 100 or less. Their ideal job of being the lead pastor of a large metropolitan Church is rare for most graduates, yet in Seminary the dream was kept alive by the rigors of study.


Spiritual mediocrity can also happen to people who get disappointed in some way in the Church. Either there is a moral failure by people who are admired, or there is some relationship squabble between people that splits the Church. Somehow, it happens to people who see spiritual life as a gauge of success, and when that gauge gets shattered by bad human behavior, it can dampen spiritual growth.


According to the stats from the survey mentioned, it seems that many Christians find themselves living out faith without the resources that would make them strong and productive. It is a sure sign of spiritual mediocrity if we stop reading the Scriptures. Often the leaders in a local Church may not even exhibit the characteristics of a spiritual leader. I have known youth directors who have been more concerned about the number going on a retreat than they are about the quality of what the retreat is all about. I know pulpits whose pastor was not called to be a shepherd but has acted out the role of a pastor without too much detection. The Scriptures are clear that God will not tolerate leaders who are more concerned about themselves than they are about the people they lead. Some spiritual mediocrity happens to leaders because they get weary of all the constant complaining of people in the Church who will never be satisfied with anything. Again, when everything remains the same for so many years, and nothing ever has a different outcome than it usually does, complacency and apathy may replace the hope, and the fire in the belly for God.


Spiritual mediocrity is a curable problem, but it takes a renewed effort on the part of the person who feels unnoticed by God. Faith has been taught in America as the gold standard of spiritual life, and as important as it is, faithfulness to God has the top honors. Faith often is thrown around by successful preachers who demonstrate their faith by what they own, how large their ministry bank account is, or the number of people they are reaching every week. Faithfulness may be shown by anyone who may not be popular or successful … yet in God’s book, they are the cream of the human crop.


2 Chronicles 16:9 The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.


Getting rid of spiritual mediocrity must be first acknowledged, then you can begin the process of renewing your commitment to God.


1.         Being self-aware is first. If my fire has gone out for God, then I need help to change direction.

2.         Meeting with a spiritual counselor or coach could be the answer if you are in a Church that has mature leaders and who themselves are not suffering from this condition.

3.         Get into the study of God's Word, either in a small group, or with an organized group like Community Bible Study, or Bible Study Fellowship. These are well-organized study groups that will drive you deeper into the Word of God.

4.         Start journaling or blogging on themes God has delivered to your heart. This exercise will produce joy in you to see how God will use you to reach others.

5.         Go on a short-term mission trip to a place where you can see God at work outside of your Church community.  God will give you fresh eyes to see how He works, and He leaves no one behind.


I hope you now understand that Spiritual mediocrity is dangerous and depressing. Ask for prayer from your Pastors and Elders so that you can be freed from the bondage of being bored with God.


Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler



bottom of page