“If your church was no longer able to meet on Sundays would anyone notice?”
That was once an interesting rhetorical question that pastors would ask each other to try and create a radical shift in their mission. For too long “going to church” was the mindset of most Americans, where church became another spectator event to attend. Pastors were so obsessed with getting people to come to church that often we failed to empower people to become the church.
As Don Everts writes, “…our Christian culture may not be too biblical, but it is quiet neat. As a parent, all I have to do is make sure my kids go to church. Check. My role as a Christian parent is done. The church will take care of the rest. As a roommate, all I have to do is try to get my other roommates to go to small group with me. Check. My role in the household is done. The small group will take care of the rest. As a Christian spouse, all I have to do is go to church with my spouse. Check. As a Christian grandparent, all I have to do is get my kids and grandkids to come to church on Easter, Christmas Eve and Mother’s Day. Check. Check. Check.”
So what happens to our faith when the church property has to shut down for the foreseeable future?
Perhaps this season, where we have to stay-in-place, is an opportunity to become the church inside of going to church. To deepen our personal devotion, enliven our private prayers, and connect with those whom God has placed in our paths.
What is one small way you can deepen your faith in the Lord?
I remember the first time Waypoint had to shutdown due to snow storm. That morning a dozen or so gathered at a local coffee shop. It was illuminating to see what the average American was doing at 10:00am on a Sunday.
This is still the season of Lent. The season of fasting and preparation for Easter. The season when we recognize and feel the loneliness, isolation, despair, and weight of our sin so that on Easter we can marvel at the power of Christ to have victory over everything–including death.
So, while we may not be able to gather in public worship, how can you be the church without going to the church (facility)?