Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Frustrations with "Doing Church"

"Doing church" is a constant frustration for me. You don't "do" church. It's not a Sunday event. Church is a lifestyle shared with a network of people and filled with the presence of God. So every time we hold a Sunday service I feel like we are somehow undermining the very thing that we preach!

Part of being "mission" minded is communicating in the context of the people that you want to reach. The USA context is business/service oriented. People understand going to a business and getting what they want/need. If you want to reach these people it's helpful to embody the context that they understand and are comfortable with. So the modern church packages it's message in a nice one hour bundle on Sunday morning and offers free child care. How convenient. But what if that context is fundamentally a flawed vehicle for our message? What if convenience and comfort is the antithesis of our message?

What I mean is that the message of Jesus is embedded in the concept of community- of a shared life - and sacrifice. But we convey our message primarily through a one hour medium that promotes looking at the back of someone's head in the comfort of stadium seating - the very opposite of community and sacrifice. We justify that by saying that Sunday morning is only the "front door" to community life, but I wonder how convincing we are.

Of course, this frustration is not news to promoters of the House Church movement (groups of believers committed to only meeting in homes to counteract the problem I speak of) but that movement has it's own set of frustrations and limitations. More soon...

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