Sunday, September 30, 2007

Becoming Churchless 101

If I were to ever offer a course on church planting, my first class would be titled Becoming Churchless 101. It would last about three years and I would charge you a matriculation fee of about $7500 a year, just to give it credibility and help me pay for my bi-annual study breaks. The point of the class would be to pull you away from your culture and immerse you into the one you want to bless. Consider the difference between your Sunday morning as a church attender, and that of a churchless person. An average churchless Sunday morning. See what your average churchless person gets to enjoy on Sunday morning. Sleep in. Read the paper. Make breakfast. Play with the kids. Go back to bed. Watch a little football. Have an early tee time. A typical day at The Church As We Know It. You, on the other hand, spend five to six hours on Sundays orchestrating a mass movement of your family to a place for your kids to play with other kids, which is really what much of The Church As We Know It has become. You have to get everyone up, fed, dressed, in the car, buckled in, transported, parked, and delivered or dropped off at the right room. Once in place, you make your way with the crowd into the big room with the band and other visual and auditory presentations. After the information has been dispensed in the prescribed amount of time, you must make your way back through the maze to retrieve your little ones who hand you the coloring sheet of Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors, to which you comment, “It’s beautiful.” and you’re stuck wondering what to do with it. During all of this migratory movement, you manage to have a few brief interactions with people you know along the way. “How’s it going?” “Good, Busy, but good” “Let’s get together sometime” “Yea, let’s do.” But your son is tugging on your arm to go so you can get to Burger King and get a new Transformer. You finally get to the car, get the tribe in place and you depart for a quick lunch before the afternoon’s activities commence. And that was church for you. To some of you, you have no idea what I’m talking about. You love Sundays and all the activity and movement and chaos and people and so on. If so, my advice is not for you. To others of you, your immediate reaction to this description is defensive. How could I discourage the assembling together of the saints? If so, my advice is not for you. But some of you know what I’m saying. Is this the kind of life I want to invite someone in to experience? What would make your average churchless person give up their morning routine for yours? This is why I propose you do the opposite. Give up your Sunday morning culture and adopt a churchless one and see what results. If you are serious about planting a church, I would bet it would affect the kind of church you end up with. You just might begin to see the Church of the Future.


Erin said...

You are so very right.

Today I slept in, read the newspaper in bed and then watched some TV. No rushing...and there is immense worship in that. If it becomes a ritual we resent and are burdened by (which it did for me), it is no longer worshipful.

sonja said...

Erin pointed this post out to me ... and I just *had* to comment.

I was raised in a churchless home. And Sunday mornings were our most treasured time. We got up late, had a fun breakfast together (usually pancakes, breakfast meat, etc.) and talked around the table together for a while. Those mornings are some of my best memories with my family. So I have struggled my whole churched life with this tension ... I want to spend Sunday mornings with my family ... having breakfast and making memories.

We are currently churchless ... and beginning to make memoriess now. It's good. Thanks for this post.

Jeff Greathouse said...

From a person who works " in / for " a church - you are absolutely correct.

We have made a big mistake in the fact that we have becoe to define church as what occurs on Sunday
( it is a shame ).

We definitely do a dis-service as well (majority of the time) by seperating families when this may be their one morning to si and be a family.

Barb said...

Brilliant!! It should be a course in every Seminary in the Nation.

Brother Maynard said...

I don't have much to add, but spot-on, Kevin. I'm just going to grab a seat over there in the choir-loft cum living-room couch, okay?

Maria said...

Yes, exactly. There's so little Sabbath in the Sunday morning rat race.

glenn said...


I couldn't agree more. It is a course that I didn't exactly sign up for. Actually, I thought it was something akin to the end of my world as I knew it to leave church as I knew it.

I still love the church (in its truest sense) and see the need for for Christ-following individuals to physically gather together and be involved in mission together, but without all of the subcultural junk and with a lot of freedom and latitude.

Giving ourselves the permission to rest, have a family life, enjoy simple things, and be regular people is so refreshing!

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