In our ever-changing culture it has become more complex than ever to do “Church” on a weekly basis. Going to church on Sunday is more the exception than the rule. The weekend service has stiff competition on the calendar of the community. So much is going on: Citywide festivals, Local sports events for all ages, 10k marathons, Major professional sports events, Concerts, School activities, Weddings and so much more. Let’s face it weekends are packed with activities.
In our society today people work longer hours and in most cases both the husband and wife work. It is more common than ever before that people are working weekends. Modern society has made it possible for many to turn their homes into their office. When this happens the boundaries for personal time and work time are often blurred and in most cases people spend many more hours working than they would if they were going into the office.
For churches tying to reach their communities for Christ and teach them how to grow spiritually it is becoming more and more challenging. How do we get people together? Sunday is not an option for many.
As I see it we have two options:
1. We can complain about it. We can try to make people feel guilty about not going to church in the hopes they will change their life calendar and start showing up. OR…
2. We can GO to them! We can make church more flexible so people have more options to attend. In other words we can bring CHURCH to their doorsteps.
The second option is the Biblical option. Jesus called us to GO not sit around in air-conditioned buildings and talk about how wicked our culture is becoming. We need to understand two things about the GO MISSION!
1. Those who do not know Jesus are not likely to show up at church no matter how great our building is or how incredible our services. We are told to Go because they are not COMING!!!
2. There are many believers who are unable to GO to church when our doors are open. They would love to be there but work or activities in their lives prevent them from attending during the hours we are open.
In the first instance non-believers are doing what they do because they do not see the value of faith or the purpose of the church. Engaging them where they live is the best way to help them think about some of the larger questions of life: ORIGIN, MORALITY, MEANING, DESTINY. The GOOD NEWS for them is that the Bible answers all these questions comprehensively.
In the second instance we need to realize that not everyone who misses church on a weekly basis is a non-believer. Many Christians just can’t meet our scheduled church calendar. We need to be willing to open the door of opportunity for these people.
At the Grace Place we are working to meet our community where they are: We offer a Saturday evening Service 6pm, Small group meetings weekly throughout our cities, we record all our weekly messages so that anyone can watch them when they have time. We are reaching out to our neighborhoods to make friends of the people in our community so we can share our story of how Christ has changed our lives.
We must see the mission Jesus gave us as a GO mission!