For centuries now, Christianity has been centered on Sunday. In fact, now it seems it’s all about Sunday. I am not really interested in how that happened historically. I am concerned that it has happened.
Following Jesus isn’t about what happens on Sunday. It’s not about getting dressed up, dragging the family out of bed, listening to a sermon, singing a few songs and dropping something in the basket. It can’t be about lying to people that you don’t really know that well, how wonderful (blessed) your life is. I don’t see anything in scripture that dictates or justifies any of that.
I have had the opportunity recently to experience Sunday in several churches. Most of them do Sundays really well. The experiences are uplifting and encouraging. They are just not all that much about following Jesus. In some churches, the focus is on the singing and worship, most others are all about the pastor’s sermon. In fact, in most churches, it’s really all about the Pastor.
Pastor Francis Chan, after leading one of the most “successful” churches in America for 14 years, walked away after realizing that he was hearing his name more than that of Jesus around the church. He took his family to China and tried to explain the church there how we do church in America. He was laughed at. “Where do they get that from this book?” persecuted members of the underground church asked in astonishment. Where indeed?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against gathering on Sunday morning. I am against making it the essence of Christianity with no relationship to real world following of Jesus. I love to worship and enjoy a good sermon. Maybe that’s part of the problem. It’s so easy to use Sunday morning as a confirmation of our Christianity. I’m trying to figure out how to use Sunday as a tool in my spiritual arsenal and not the totality of my spiritual life.
I guess this is what I want on Sunday:
- An opportunity to bring something not just get something.
- A motivation to share Jesus during the week.
- Education about opportunities to serve.
- An atmosphere that promotes honest sharing instead of “blessing” lying.
- More prayer and worship, less pastor preaching.
- A budget with more outreach and less structure maintenance.
I am not real optimistic that I’ll get that.