Friday, January 11, 2008

Flexibility needed in "church services"

A recent news article stated that 37% of US companies offer some type of flexible work arrangement, such as telecommunting. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080111/tc_nm/ba_work_telecommuting_dc_1 Back in the 1980s, companies still insisted on 9-5, on site work schedules. However, with the advent of families with two working parents and single parents, more flexibility has been worked in. In addition, Gen X workers are more family oriented and have insisted on this arrangement. With these talented workers in high demand, they have received it.

It struck me that despite the massive changes in our society regarding time, flexibility, and fast pace of life, churches still operate as if everyone always has off Sundays and Wednesdays, and that we must all meet together all the time. Churches need to discover what companies have discovered, that that flexibility is needed in today's world.

So we need to give members our blessing in meeting on "non-church" nights (or days), like a Monday for a book club outreach or a Friday night for a life group, and still have this "count." What we typically do is discount these other times as "extra," and that real Christians meet on Wednesday. This must change.

This kind of flexibility will open the doors to more creative thinking, which has the potential to reach more people. As the article warns, however, those left "at the office" at regular times can feel overworked and stressed. This can be overcome, the article's author states, by meaningful face time when everyone is together at the office.

Would you like the blessing of church leaders to be more flexible in what, when, and where "counts" for a mid-week serivce.?

4 comments:

Mr. E said...

I agree with you whole heartedly. The early Church met every day. So what difference does it make when members of the Church get together to encourage each other, pray for each other or study God's Word together. I can understand the need for the "entire group of local members" to get together at least once a week to stay in touch with the Church as a whole and to share important information that smaller groups may not be aware of and to have unity in our relationships with Christ, but to discount any meeting together of the Body of Christ is just wrong.

Al said...

Hey James,
I totally agree with you on this one. My dad was a minister in multiple DFW churches in the first 21 years of my life, and in a congregation outside Houston prior to that. I remember him having to deal with all sorts of grief just trying to change Wed night classes from 7:30p to 7:00p to help out those parents trying to get little ones in bed - talk about lack of flexibility! One thing I learned from him (and my mom) is that the New Testament never designated Wednesday night as meeting time. The only Biblical commands that I know of relate to the "first day of the week". Based on the example of the early church, the members were together as much as possible to support and encourage one another. There is no indication that the day of the week made any difference to them. They were drawn together by love of Christ and love for each other. Isn't that the whole point? If people truly prioritized based on those things, I think they would be amazed at how many days a week they would want to be together!
P.S. I know you're sad to leave Liberty, but High Pointe is thrilled to have you headed our way. Thanks for reading my thoughts.

Al said...

Hey James,
I totally agree with you on this one. My dad was a minister in multiple DFW churches in the first 21 years of my life, and in a congregation outside Houston prior to that. I remember him having to deal with all sorts of grief just trying to change Wed night classes from 7:30p to 7:00p to help out those parents trying to get little ones in bed - talk about lack of flexibility! One thing I learned from him (and my mom) is that the New Testament never designated Wednesday night as meeting time. The only Biblical commands that I know of relate to the "first day of the week". Based on the example of the early church, the members were together as much as possible to support and encourage one another. There is no indication that the day of the week made any difference to them. They were drawn together by love of Christ and love for each other. Isn't that the whole point? If people truly prioritized based on those things, I think they would be amazed at how many days a week they would want to be together!
P.S. I know you're sad to leave Liberty, but High Pointe is thrilled to have you headed our way. Thanks for reading my thoughts.

James said...

Mr. E and Al,

It is the nature of movements to begin as dynamic and fluid, and then to institutionalize and harden. We become captured by the success of a past model, and then hold on to it even if it no longer works.

Thanks, Al, for the encouragement. We have felt that the people at High Pointe really are excited about us coming, and that is a great feeling. We look forward to serving together soon.