Its 6:05 on a sunday morning. The alarm clock starts ringing who could that be singing…its Toby Keith telling me its about that time to shower, change, and head to church.
We all fall into routines and for a moment I step back and want to evaluate the objective of these gatherings and learn about if and how we can do better.
Are these gatherings meaningless routine of entertainment through the lens of spiritual glasses or have those leading us in worship spent time thinking about God and are bringing us before his throne? I’d like to believe they have thought through something, and if so what were they thinking about?
The objective of sunday morning gatherings:
Experience and encounter God.
In the same way that I’d like to believe there is some forethought, what exactly would that be pointed to? Sundays in my mind (though nothing particularly sacred about the day to me) is somewhere between an hour or 2 spent entirely on helping us experience and encounter God. Life is busy and I can get caught up in a lot of things, but at the very least sunday helps me encounter God…
…but is there more?
Worship with the Greater Church.
Sundays also seem to be a time when true meaningful relationships CANNOT occur, but should/ought/are occurring throughout the week. Sunday then becomes a time when these smaller communities of transformative relationships gather together to worship God together. We get a glimpse of heaven and we see the greater body worshiping God. I look to my left and my neighbor is raising her hand. Without turning I hear the bass voice of the man behind me singing I Have Decided to Follow Jesus…no turning back. I am instantly rushed into the throne room of God. Songs, readings, quotes, a message, all seem to point me back to a consistent message circulated around one idea that God is communicating. The implications of this idea are relevant and raw.
AM I missing something?
How this gets accomplished seems to be open for debate. The bible doesn’t give us a guideline of how this is supposed to look, but rather that its supposed to be done. Churches gathered, preaching occurred, the reading of the word happened, people sang, and people participated in communion and practiced baptisms. Are there things that are off the table?
We are simply limited by our creativity.
The criteria for a successful gathering at our church has been built around 6 things:
- biblically saturated
- Connected to the big C church
- FUN – added for student ministry
Any other particular element is up for debate but the objective stays the same…help people experience God in a place where you are inviting the smaller- life transforming communities a chance to gather and worship God together.