For many generations, our Family has been meeting on Sundays to break bread together and to encourage one another towards love and good deeds. Grafted continues this tradition by meeting at 4:00 at All Nations Baptist Church where we sing together, read scripture together, take communion together, and occasionally witness baptism together.
I must admit for this post I am indebted to the thoughts of Bobby Jamieson at 9Marks and Tim Johnson and Steve Treichler at Hope Community Church without whose thoughts I am not sure where my theology of a Sunday worship service would currently be.
Now, our service is only scripted to last about 90 mins. But it begs the question, how should those 90 minutes compare and interact with the other some 10,000 minutes in the week? Often we expect those 90 minutes to fulfill all of our Christian obligations and fulfillment for not only a whole week, but sometimes 2 or 3 weeks, depending on if we skip church due to sickness, travel, or work. If these 90 minutes are meant to carry us through for the next 30,000, how should we use them well?
Paul wrote to the church in Colossae:
3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Much of our services, and most church services, are built to make this verse a reality. Our songs are chosen because they help the word of Christ dwell in us richly. Our sermons are crafted to help the word of Christ make a home in our hearts. Our Call to Action takes place so that the story of Christ can be made real in our lives. Even our announcements help us to know how we can participate in the story of God that is unfolding at Grafted.
But, can 90 minutes of devoted time given to God cover over 10,000 or 30,000? It was never meant to. I wish I was speaking to each of you right now so that I could slow that sentence down so that it could sink in a little deeper…
The Sunday Service each week was never meant to be enough to keep a relationship with the Living God alive for the rest of the week.
The writer of Hebrews writes about followers of Jesus, saying that they should,
13:15 Through him [Jesus] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
The “continually” here means that our worship of God should not predominantly take place in the 90 minutes on Sunday, but rather the other 10,000 other minutes in the week should easily overtake the amount of praise we can offer to God through the acknowledgement of his name as we talk to our children, as we sit in our houses, when we go out, when we lie down, and when we get up. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
If we are offering praise to God throughout the week, with each other and individually, in small groups, in mentoring relationships, at Men’s events, at Women’s events, by reading our Bible, as we sleep, and while we talk to our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers about the love God has shown us through Christ, then the Sunday worship service, 90 minutes a week, can become a time when we simply remember and remind each other who God is and who we are in light of what He has done for us so that we can continue to praise God throughout the week.
How can we use Sundays well? By recognizing that most of our worship takes place during the rest of the week.