Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cowboys or Church?

Modern technological wonders have rendered this choice irrelevant. Anyone who wants to attend church AND watch the NFL playoffs this Sunday can do so, even though both are technically happening at the same time. However, the fact that both are happening at the same time does raise some interesting questions:

When did Sunday Night Church attendance become a measure of spirituality? As a matter of fact, when did Church attendance become that at all? We have a problem with people hanging all of their spirituality completely on how often they darken the door of the Church building, and not at all on how they live outside of the church. When they are in Church, attendance marks the end of their commitment. All they do is sit and absorb.

It would be a lot more exciting to find a community of Christians who regularly and consistently did meet for worship, but even more frequently met together in homes and did community around life that included tons of people who did not know Jesus. What about Sunday morning worship all together, but then three or four evenings a week at homes around dinners or cultural events that included Christians and non-Christians dialoguing issues of life and bringing Jesus and His teaching into the mix.

Pop Quiz Time:

Who would you rather be, from the following options?

A. A Christian who, when the “Church” is open, you are there. You know everyone in the fellowship, and you are on a bunch of committees. You know almost no one outside of the church. In fact, you are not sure of all of your neighbors’ names.

B. A Christian who has a deep concern for the lost of your community. You know that people are going to want to watch the game and see it as an opportunity. You plan to show the game AT church and present the Gospel at half time. (By the way, the event is a huge success and you have a higher attendance than most Sunday nights. No one is saved at half time. No one noticed if any non-church members actually came, but you will expand the event for the upcoming Super Bowl…if the Cowboys make it.)

C. A Christian who is involved in the Church, especially outreach ministries. You plan to skip church this Sunday and invite all your neighbors over to watch the game. You have been working on these friendships for some time, and have no plan to present the Gospel during the game. A couple of these friends are already talking to you about what you believe and asking questions about God. Patiently, you are answering questions and telling them things as they are ready and eager to hear, but not before.

Confession time: When I was in the states and on staff, it was easy for me to understand how some ministers guilt tripped people into coming to church instead of watching football. After all, we were paid to have to be there. I just wish churches would reevaluate their priorities.

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