Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cancel Church to Be the Church on Sunday

So yesterday I issued a challenge. I was expecting some churches had already done what I was talking about and was glad to hear that some, including Saddleback, already do it regularly, (thanks Rick Warren for responding). What I thought I might do today is give some ideas on how this could actually work at your church, with or without it being an official thing, (yes I am advocating gorilla Christianity).

First, set a date. Be realistic about it, give yourself some time. But make a firm date and figure out what needs to be done before hand to make it a very successful program. Think about the issues that might come up and deal with them before hand. Do some teaching on the call of Jesus to care for the poor and the marginalized. Do some teaching about worship as service, submission to God, and sacrifice.

Second, make sure you do the work to provide opportunities for people to join in. Do something at the church, during service time, provide coveralls or something for those that might not have heard, or are visiting. A car wash and maintenance is a great idea in the parking lot. Maybe set a clothing drive, a food drive or somthing. Speak to a local aged care facility and see if you could do a concert, a dance, or a checkers tourneyment. Do an outdoor movie night in a poorer neighborhood. Do a huge block party, with jumping castles, waterslides, and pie eating contests. Have an awesome band play. Go sit down with homeless folks and share a meal, don't just serve them, eat with them, ask their names, hear their stories.

Third, make sure you have some time for reflection afterwards. Some counselors to help get through some issues that come up. Some time for testimonies.

And lastly...

please add your own thoughts. I am trying to get a few people that have done this to post their own ideas and reflections as guest posters.



Luke Harms said...

(long time lurker here) I love the focus on worship as service. Modern evangelicals often get stuck in the mindset that worship consists wholly of singing love songs to Jesus (not that there's not a time and a place for that), as opposed to living a life of service. This is where we should be, and I love that in addition to offering criticism, you are giving practical advice on how to get there. Good on you!

john jensen said...

thanks brother


sweettealover said...

How about go wipe down tables at a fast food restaurant or go pay for folks laundry at the local laundramat. . .pump gas for people or wash their windshield. . .
I can come up with ideas all day! The problem I have is that the older folks don't participate in these things. I'm talking about those 70 and up. How can we get them involved in moving the church beyond the building?

Cathy. Preachermom41.wordpress.com

john jensen said...

Great question how about reading to kids in hospital or telling stories in library? Teaching sewing classes or knitting? Taking kids fishing or out to a movie. I think we can ask them what they think they can do and make sure we help them


Anonymous said...

Our church, Desperation Church in Liberty, MO does this every month. On the 4th weekend we cancel either our Saturday night service or our Sunday service and we go out and do community outreach. This past weekend we cancelled our Saturday night service and held a dinner for parents of special needs kids. We watched their kids in our kids area, while they enjoyed dinner and a local comedy improv group. Each month is different. It's really a lot of fun and a great way to get out into our community.

john jensen said...

very cool, love hearing these stories, please keep them coming guys. I really hope to see this idea begin rolling across our churches.