‘I think this teaching could happen any day of the week, but I have no problem with it happening Sunday morning’
This is about interaction, and about becoming one, and it is about Sunday.
I have had some people vehemently argue with me over this, and their best argument has been: “You can have fellowship ‘any day’ of the week, why do you have to insist on Sunday morning!”
I have had the hardest time in getting those arguing with me to see that it is ‘them’ insisting the sermon ’must’ be on Sunday morning, yet I have not heard one good reason ‘why’ we ’must’ have a sermon Sunday morning.
If Sunday (the day) wasn’t the issue why are ‘they’ making an issue over what day the sermon ‘must’ be said? (This is really perplexing, all I can figure is that tradition insists it ‘must’ be so)
I ask them: “If your boss told you that you had to work every Sunday, would you take an issue with it?”
Yes you would. And why? Because Sunday is what western society has normally accepted and practiced as a day off, even if some person does work Sundays they want it to change because all their friends and family generally get together on Sundays. That is just the way it is (I worked Sundays for a year, my social life was cut in half, and people at church thought I was apostatizing). Even stay at home families know that Sunday is the day when others are available to get together. My daughter with 3 kids looks forward to her husband finally being home on Sunday, or going to church. Many people in my world work Saturdays too, and most are busy during the week with something: school, soccer, dance class, report due at work, etc. etc. there is no consistent day to ‘get together’ - but Sunday
So what happens on Sunday? Getting together? Renewing our friendships from last week? No, what happens every Sunday all across the world – the Church is ushered into rows of chairs to hear one man preach – just what I waited all week to hear. And what’s the message? Love your neighbor? Grow in Christ? Do good works? Forgive one another? Love one another? I guess we are supposed to do this during the week ‘outside’ the ‘church’?? There certainly is no opportunity during ‘the Sunday morning ‘service’ for love.
Yet preachers say do this at home, and do this at work! What, ‘preach’ to everyone at home and work? They never allow interaction at church – preachers rarely demonstrate how to model the love
, they always ‘talk’ of, certainly not on Sunday. Conversation at church would demonstrate and model how and what we can do at home
. People don’t know how to personally share their faith, talk of scripture and of God because it is not practiced on Sunday
. So much is wrong with the Sunday morning time, but this bothers me the most – we are being told to go out and bring people to church – so they can sit in a pew, where they are told to go out and bring people in, to sit next to them in a pew, so they can... Wow, see how they love one another!
Objection! You’re over reacting!
Why, because I love these people?? Why, because I love His body?? Why, because I care??
Call it a defect of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit in me wants to love people, yet every Sunday morning I see all the Church for about 10 minutes before and after
service, usually out in the foyer or front patio
. So why is the fellowship forced out of the church and into the parking lot and hallways on Sunday morning? The preacher has just ate up all the precious time we ‘could have had’ together ‘inside’ the church (with his ‘message’ on loving one another). For ten years I have sat and looked around me at all the people who need community, friendship, discipleship, someone to talk to, someone who cares, all sitting together in a room, yet none of us can talk to each other without disrupting the ‘service’. I can’t handle it anymore, I call it insanity.
Objection! You can’t have everyone talking in church, it would be annoying, and disruptive!
I noted before, that we did have no-sermon church for a year with no pastor at all
, for one year. And it was the greatest experience I have ever had at church. Those friendships are still with me today, although that group was dissolved after a new appointed pastor was hired. He put an end to that ridiculous fellowship time with his fantastically enlightening sermons. Yes, before the preacher was hired the Church functioned just as it should, the whole body used their gifts, and 'everyone' fellow-shipped. Some led tables, some handed out bulletins, some gave announcement’s, some led worship, some led prayer, and everyone shared bread.
At another church I went to: we had the 'Connection Nights' for small groups, the large room was set up with at least 40 round tables with 7-8 people each, that’s at least 280 people. Each table had a placard designating what the group was about, and people could join, or move around. There was no problem with noise or disorder, it functioned wonderfully. It was a wonderful night of community.
Although these nights were designed to group together the people for the upcoming small home groups, I do not see why we couldn’t have just met occasionally as we did on the connection nights (?). That large group connection night was as close to Church being a Church as I have ever witnessed.
This large church, just a mile from my home, has rooms large enough to easy facilitate 500 people, with tables! This is an enormous building, with many such rooms. In one such room we have the Wednesday night bible study group meet. In this room we set up 20 or so round tables, and each table has a table leader, but generally a study book is the guide (or more hopefully The Bible is our guide). Even with 140 or so people, this bible night models and demonstrates real Christianity and real assembly. YET! Often at these Wednesday night meetings some speaker will take the microphone and start speaking, and speaking, and speaking. We were just deep in conversation doing just what the Church was supposed to be, and the person will not put down the microphone, auugh.
This has happened millions of times, we have all gone to Church retreats, or event nights at church, we are all sitting around tables enjoying conversation and even bible study together – and somebody gets on the microphone and starts talking, and talking- why did that person decide they have something more relevant to say than anyone else here
? There have been people at my table sharing great insight, personal needs, etc. yet they are interrupted
and we soon find ourselves shuffled outside again to our cars, what just happened?
During our little Sunday morning bible study where I go now from 9:30 -10:30am, it is about 10am when we are having really intimate productive bible study and discussion, but every single Sunday at 10:35 a deacon in another room pushes a loud buzzer, twice, which means that the bible study must stop and that we ‘must’ head to the sanctuary building to hear the sermon that begins at 11am, 25 minutes from now! (the door to the Sanctuary is actually only 12 feet from the door of the fellowship hall). This is so telling, we are having 'Church' and this deacon actually gets mad that our interactive bible leaders (2-3 groups) do not want to stop (this same deacon never participates in the morning fellowship, and he absolutely dominates the ‘entire’ Sunday ‘night’ meeting we have since he became the leader of it). This has become almost silly, I am observing this whole thing and thinking we ‘are’ having Church, how can it get any better, nobody wants it to stop, yet this guy wants us to stop and go to service
Sure the pastor is sincere and educated, but he could be teaching personally at his own table, maybe with the deeper insight he has, this is what I told my pastor " you could shepherd the tables, or model Discipling at your own table". There is nothing the pastor can say that is more 'meaningful', or could not be spoken by any of the number of the bible believing mature adults
we already have sitting in the fellowship hall. And it could be said with care and conversation
, I think 'this' is what the Church ‘was’ made up of – disciples, and discipleship.