You can’t turn on the news or go online without hearing or seeing news about the government shutdown. You can read a plethora of opinions and stories how the shutdown is hurting people and the economy. You can also read about how this latest government shutdown exposes how dependent people are on “Big Government”. I’m not here though to share my opinion of the latest bickering going on within Washington D.C.
I’ve got a better question: How would you survive a church shutdown?
I guess I need to be more specific. What if your Sunday morning church service ceased to exist, how much would your Christian life suffer? If someone barred entry to the building you gathered in yesterday morning, like park rangers have done to certain monuments in and around D.C., how detrimental would it be to your walk with Jesus?
For all the talk that many conservative Evangelicals have about the millions that are too dependent on big government, have we become too dependent on big church?
I am not saying that the corporate gathering of Christians isn’t important. I believe that it is necessary. But I believe that if our expression of church is only confined to 90 minutes on a Sunday morning, we are missing the whole point of what it means to be the church of God.
Our expression of church should influence every day of the week for us, not just Sunday mornings. We see this modeled for us in the infancy of the church in Acts 2 when they met daily, going from house to house. Our current expectation of church makes the “daily” part of church expression very difficult.
Sadly, there is a tendency to treat church like a gas station. We fill up spiritually once a week with whatever octane the preacher has for us, and leave to go on our way for the rest of the week, only needing to be “filled up” again a week later. I believe that the natural flow of gathering with the Body of Christ throughout the week is as essential as our Sunday morning services.
What if our gathering on Sunday was more of celebration than a filling station?
What if our contact with other believers had more to do with breaking bread throughout the week discussing the wonderful gospel truths in God’s Word, than shaking hands for 45 seconds at the beginning of a church service?
What if discipleship was more dependent on 2 or 3 gathering to sharpen one another than the oratory skills of one?
Would you still live on mission?
Would you have enough normal opportunities to serve others if the programs of your big church ceased to exist?
Don’t get me wrong. I love gathering on Sunday mornings with my church family. It’s one of my favorite times of the week, and we have every intention to keep meeting every Sunday morning. But what I am discovering is the wonderful ways in which church means so much more than just Sunday; that being the church has as much to do with my Monday through Saturday as well.
How about you? How would you handle a church shutdown?