In conversations with people about the state of [Western] christianity, people can be all over the map. And at times, I think it’s because we’re really that desperate, that upset, that disillusioned, or that [insert word here]. And then, there are times we just want to make a crazy statement to sound edgy and prophetic. Yo, it’s pomo, bro.
One of those crazy conversations surrounds the topic of the corporate worship gatherings known to most people as ‘Sunday worship services.’
I want to contend – that whether it’s on a Sunday or another day – that gathering as a unified faith community is very important and healthy. Or more accurately, it is one aspect of a healthy faith community.
Now, don’t mistake what I’m saying. I’m not a big fan of big productions, fancy shows, gift giveaways, fireworks, etc. Nor am I a fan of all or most of the staff and financial budget being invested in the production of the Sunday “event.” But the essence of people coming together…in the context of the larger ministry that goes beyond Monday – Saturday – is good and beautiful.
Quest gets our shares of visitors because they’ve heard some buzz. But I find it funny that when they visit, most folks walk away very disappointed because it’s pretty plain: We worship in songs. We share community news. We have that awkward 5 minutes of ‘greet your neighbors.’ We read the Scriptures. We have a long exegetical sermon. We celebrate communion. And then we worship in song some more. And we sing the Benediction.
It’s not fancy but it still matters to us. It’s important.
So, instead of the ideas of doing away with Sundays, maybe we should actually be applauding it and examining what’s really lacking: a deeper, holistic, and consistent theology of life, community, and missions to be lived out each day of the week.
What do you think?
On that note, I wrote this note to my church community this week:
My hope for Quest has always been that we are not just a Sunday community. As I shared recently, we don’t just want to have one front door at Quest but numerous doors and windows by which people can see the fragrance of God through our community and ministry. This is why community groups, focus groups such as Mystery of Hope [depression and anxiety], our Compassion and Justice and Global Presence ministries, the To the Streets, our global initiatives, and Q Café are so important to our church’s desire to be a presence to the larger city and beyond.
But having said that, we also care about the one opportunity we have each week on Sundays to gather for our ‘larger family gathering.’ It’s important as we collectively read the Scriptures, worship, hear the proclamation of the Scriptures, celebrate the sacrament of communion, and enjoy fellowship together.
It’s also important because it allows newcomers and visitors to experience, examine, scrutinize, and check out Quest – ultimately in hopes of people growing closer to the truth and gospel of Christ. Sundays are also important because it is an opportunity for you to invite your friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
Last Sunday, I had a conversation with a visitor who was invited to Quest through a random conversation he had with two people at Quest on the streets of Seattle. They were complete strangers but one thing led to another and then to an invitation to Quest. He shared that he was new to Seattle and feeling overwhelmed and lonely but felt being at Quest was a ray of hope for his spiritual journey.
And so, I hope that not only will be you be encouraged by the presence and ministry of Quest that takes place Monday through Saturday, you’ll also be blessed, encouraged, and convicted this Sunday. Additionally, take a few moments to invite someone to join you this Sunday and in the weeks to come. I’m excited that we’ll be hosting two special friends this Sunday: the SOLD Project will talk about their initiative in fighting child slavery and prostitution and Trace Bundy will share some of his music.
See you this Sunday.