Monday, May 13, 2013

More than Lip Service

I take Sunday mornings for granted. I won't deny the fact. I spend my week studying Scripture, consuming podcasts, highlighting books, and conversing with other people about their faith. For me the weekly worship service has become a rallying point, not a recharging station.

But for the masses who spend the week folding laundry, spreading sheets, filing papers, mailing invoices, cutting trim, answering emails, cleaning carpets, and grading tests, Sunday mornings take on a different meaning. For church service we settle mostly for lips: a little teaching, a sprinkling of songs, and some pleasant interchange with familiar faces.

The world wears us down.The daily grind can feel godless. Netflix, little league, and coffee breaks don't sustain our souls. We are starved by Sunday. So Sabbath rest sounds satisfying.

Unfortunately, church services often fail to satisfy. The unmarked sermon notes and empty sign-up sheets scattered about the building serve as a metaphor. We deliver content without an opportunity to practice. We collect tithes without catalyzing mission. We pay lip service, but our hearts and hands are far from the God who ransomed us.

This is the story of Israel repeated in the modern day church. This is fallacy that worship is for me and my needs, not God and His mission. This is church as a recharging station.

To expect the majority of Christ-follower to study Scripture, consume podcast, highlight books, and converse with others about their faith is far-reaching. However, as a pastor I must call others to practical application (i.e., maturity) and collective action (i.e., mission).

This is the story of the Pentecost repeated in the modern church. This is the truth that love is not merely word and tongue, but deed and truth. This is church as a rallying point.

Below are a few idea to make Sunday morning a platform for mission and maturity.

  • Dedicate several Sunday mornings a year to service projects.
  • Send out random groups to prayer-walk around the community during the sermon.
  • Go two hours past the regular "closing time" to interact with questions, prayer requests, or impromptu singing. (Don't ask for permission from the nursery workers, but beg their forgiveness afterwards!)
  • Move singing and preaching to a public location and invited people to join us.
  • Send out a group of people to pursue a prodigal from the church.

NOTE: In the past year, I've seen a few of these things happen at our church. Sunday became a rallying point. It was beautiful.

No comments: