On the way to church on Easter Sunday, I was thinking how I would do things differently if I had my own church, (and I think we can all agree that I TOTALLY should). I would like to point out that A) I was on my WAY so this is not a reflection of my personal church day experience, and B) I’d just spent the morning trying to find something sufficiently pastel/Easterly to wear that I could actually button, to no avail. Not my best morning.
So I was wondering, WHY do we go to church? Really. Some might say it’s to hear the scripture preached by a Godly man with some particular insight beyond your own. Okay. But why do we have to GO? There are several well-known and highly respected teachers that you could listen to either via the television, radio or internet. But let’s say your pastor is really great. I happen to like our pastor a lot, but his sermons are available on our website. So why can’t I just listen from the comfort of my own home, in my comfortable pajama’s with the elastic waistband?
Maybe people go for the worship. Okay, but still, as much as a person likes their band/choir/song leader surely you could get a great worship experience by listening to Third Day, Primitive Gospel Quartet, or the Triumph Mass Choir. I’ve had lots of great worship at my house, with the CD cranked and the furniture pushed back so I can dance, and no worries that the people behind me are thinking, “Lord, don’t let her pop a button or she’ll put some one’s eye out.”
So that leads us to the THIRD reason why we should go to church according to the study I conducted in my car on my way to our Easter service. Community. According to my husband, he loves going to church with his brother and sisters in Christ, enjoying the rich interaction that comes from being in a community of believers. Really? After church I asked him how many people he really spoke to, not just a “Hello, Happy Easter,” but real, in-depth conversation. Answer – 0. Sure churches have Small Groups, Cell Groups or Sunday School classes, but my group has 5 women. FIVE out of the entire church. JD’s has two. I’m thinking there is room for improvement.
So, here’s how I would have church in the 21st Century. First of all, we’d have ONE service. Too crowded for you? Tough. Stand closer, get to know someone, maybe it will remind you of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have to crowd into dark places in SECRET to study the word.
Second, we’d have food. Nothing elaborate, but a table with breads and jams and fruit. We’d eat and talk, and socialize with each other. In order to keep the same old cliques from forming, you’d be handed a colored bracelet upon arrival. Blues would sit with blues, greens with greens, etc. And no trivial crap. The question would be, “What do you need God to do in your life right now?” “How have you shown the love of Jesus this week?”
Third, after we’d eaten, we’d arrange our chairs in a circle, so we could see each other. Then the Pastor would come and talk to us about what was happening in our community. “The Middle School in our community is having trouble with bullying, let’s pray about it.” Then we’d PRAY. Not just him, but kids and moms and dads and the people would pray for the school. The the Pastor would tell us about a family in the church who needed help with rent, and we’d take up a collection on the spot. And after we’d talked about what was going on, prayed, interacted, then he’d give us guidance. Five to ten minutes about a particular subject. “Romans 12 says, pour out your bodies as a living sacrifice, so this week sacrifice for the Kingdom. Go out of your way to bring someone to church. Mow your neighbors yard. Invite the single mom and her kids over to your house for dinner with your family.” Then the following week we’d ask each other how we did.
After it was all said and done, we’d worship. Push back the chairs, and worship like we believed the KING was listening. Like we believed all the stuff we’ve been hearing for years. Like we were the sons and daughters of a king! I’d tell people not to make plans on Sunday, cause it ain’t over till it’s over!
My church would ROCK. My church would be FUN. My church bulletins would have an OVERABUNDANCE of capital letters. And maybe, just maybe, I’d be so excited about Jesus, I wouldn’t care that the people around me were being exposed to a LOT of back fat.
It would be a place of miracles.