every now and then, i read an article or hear a sermon that reflects what i’m thinking or feeling at that moment. that happened last night. if you want to read the whole article, you can check it out here. if not, track with me for a few seconds…
you know that i have a love-hate affair with sunday mornings. on the one hand, i wish our building was full to the brim every sunday…full of people worshipping the greatness of god, investing their lives in each other, serving children, welcoming new folks, filled with the spirit, and being inspired to live dangerous lives for christ.
on the other hand, i believe with my whole heart, that what the church is and does on monday through saturday is infinitely more important than what we do at our club meeting on sundays.
so where’s the truth?
in spite of the megachurches that dot our landscape (here and around the country), studies show us an alarming trend: church attendance in america is in serious decline. people are walking away or simply avoiding church in mass. conservative estimates say that less than 18% of americans attend church services on any given sunday…and it is declining more and more every year.
as much as i would love for us to have more people coming to our building on sunday mornings, i think we are missing the point. the question is not, “how can we get a bigger attendance on sundays”, but something entirely different. as the author of the article says:
The question we need to be asking is, “How can church become indispensable to a community?” People don’t come to church because church isn’t essential to their lives. Church is a take-it-or-leave-it experience, and most are leaving it.
have you ever heard this question:
if your church closed tomorrow, would anybody notice? at least anybody outside the group of people that come to your sunday morning meeting?
well, if the statistics are to be believed, over 80% of americans give a loud and unqualified “no!”
i want to be part of a church family that is defined by what it does during the week, not by what it looks like on sunday mornings. i want to be part of a church family that touches more people monday through saturday than walk into the buidling for the weekly meeting.
i want to be part of a church family that really hears what people say about the church…about our hypocrisy…about our judgment. i want to know why people…80% of the population…see the church as irrelevant and not worth their time. i want to listen and learn…and be part of a church that matters.
and by the way…if you’re part of the team, exercise your freedom to be somewhere else on sunday mornings judiciously. we’re better and stronger when you’re here. and you’re better and stronger, also.