I officially declare (as far as my meager role will allow) the following:
**November 6, 2016 shall be National Fall Back (to Church) Sunday!**
Here’s what happens: We get connected. We get enriched. We get spiritually formed. Then we get… busy.
We get busier. Next thing ya know, it’s been 3…4…7 weeks since Sunday worship together. Missed connection with God and others. Missed times of corporate prayer. Missed moments of encouragement as people around you seek the same thing as you.
Be there every Sunday of the year? Of course not!
Even the pastor pulls a planned no-show during vacations and big family events. But most Sundays? AMAP (As Many As Possible)? That seems about right.
Dish Network has a “guilt loop” that they used to broadcast only to people who were using unauthorized equipment. By intercepting the Satellite signals with unregistered equipment, the whole billing process was (ahem) eliminated. A man would show up on screen and say “ya know… this is wrong… ya know…?” Please don’t hear me like that. I’m not here to guilt anybody. That’s the complete opposite of the gospel, btw.
But… I am here as a pastor and a friend.
Truth: we need worship gatherings.
Even if we don’t think you do… we do. We have been programmed for spirituality, wired for community, and updated with the New Covenant. Nothing replaces worship together. To remember the story of God’s rescue. To lift up the name of Jesus with your brothers and sisters. To listen to the Holy Spirit together, like they did in Acts and throughout Church history.
Are you a Mountain Bike Sunday kinda person? Is your favorite Hymn #3 — as in 3 under par? Do you love the soft, luxurious preaching at Bedside Baptist? I get it. You don’t need to be in a church to connect with God. That’s true. But Father, Son and Spirit have revealed themselves as a community. The scripture forms Christians within the context of community. Think of it this way: even if you don’t need it (you do, but let’s just say you don’t), maybe someone else needs you. Maybe you’re the one who will make eye contact with someone in the back row this Sunday. You might even say “Hello”, which for you is a forgettable five seconds but for them is a reason to go on. Again, no guilt. Just something to think about. Maybe it’s not just about your personal experience.
Why not use this coming Sunday, November 6, as a time to reset clocks and reset priority, too?
Why not use the extra hour as a buffer for your family to readjust? Why not make the most of a new month, where things start fresh and new, including the practice of making Sunday Worship a priority of our spiritual formation? Please hear me: the challenge comes from caring, not from guilt. This isn’t about numbers. It’s a shepherd-y thing that we’re called to do.