I’m skipping church this Sunday. I know, I know, you’re wondering how I can still call myself a Christian and have the audacity to continue to write a blog on spiritual topics.
Even crazier, I already told the pastor.
This Sunday while maybe even my wife sits in church I’ll be watching football. Specifically my beloved Seattle Seahawks – who clinched their division and entered the playoffs despite a losing record. Last week they majorly upset the Super Bowl champions, and well, it was awesome . I’m still floating (though a little bit lower since Oregon lost the BCS on Monday).
In recent years tons of churches have picked up on the small group trend, which effectively doubled the unofficial yet pretty darn official weekly church attendance expectations. Suddenly you couldn’t just get away with going Sunday mornings, but then had to also be apart of small group. It became the new standard.
And trust me, this is not a post picking apart the small group movement. I’m totally on board. I’m apart of a small group and I love it.
I think churches realized that the Biblical definition of church is not a building, a sermon, a worship set, or programs – but the church at its core is community – and its hard to participate in community when you are sitting, watching a church service happen in front of you. A slogan emerged of “don’t go to church – be the church.” So now every church in America tries hard to get you to sign up for a community/growth/small group.
So, in essence, we realized that true church happens in the small setting where people gather to support and encourage one another, “do life together” (I did a series of tweets on Christian buzzphrases, this one being a heavy hitter lately) and pursue Jesus.
So my question is – what is the point of Sunday morning? Why do we still have them around? Do you see what I mean? Churches in essence realized that their Sunday gatherings weren’t what church was designed to be, so they began to place heavy emphasis on small groups – but didn’t do anything to question Sunday mornings.
I admittedly have a slant here, as for years I’ve not enjoyed Sunday morning services no matter what church I went to – because all along I’ve felt that the church is a gathering of people who know each other – and lately church services have gotten bigger and bigger (more performance oriented), and more and more consumeristic (because we simply take it all in and aren’t invited to give back in any way other than clapping during certain songs).
If I’m not actively participating, for me, then its not really church. That’s not a rule for all people, but something true for me. So if someone asks me if I’m apart of a church, I say yes referring to my small group. They actually know me there.
So, give me your thoughts – why do we still have Sunday morning services if “true church” happens in the small group setting (or is that a false assumption)? What do you get out of Sunday services? What value do they still hold?
PS: GO SEAHAWKS!