I have in the past 7 months begun to learn what it means to be at the mercy of the good Samaritans. Somedays I find that there are many and some days there are none. I am not angry at the realities of the world I live in but this experience has been so enlightening to me and has challenged my long standing beliefs. I am not against gathering together in fellowship and I am definitely not against joining in a good round of praise and worship but yesterday lent me another lesson, one that comes from the deepest part of my action crazy soul.
For some reason I used to really enjoy sitting in the pew and participating in the traditions of the typical "baptist" sunday but now it seems so frustrating. To sit for an hour and a half in a pew, looking around as people writing notes on their bulletin that they will most likely never revisit, highlighting scripture that will never leave the good Book to be applied in the real world, and ladies and men alike heads nodding in agreement as they nod off for a quick nap. The pew sitters, as I see it are supposed to be the life of the body! Where is the life of the body? What can the body do if it does not EXERCISE. I want to see pastors that encourage the body to EXERCISE THEIR FAITH!!!
I see this as a grave failure in our culture as a church. We have become lazy, even fat on the ideology of gathering together. If every sermon started with packing of food bags, or sorting socks for the homeless, or anything for that matter would the congregation attend? What if the pastor handed the sermon out on disc after the congregation had split up and mowed lawns for the elderly? Would taking that 1.5 hours to change the world change the congregation, would it turn us into servants of the Almighty? Would there be a church that could do it? You see when you fail to exercise you get fat and you forget how important it is for the body to move..... your church secretary creating a handout that you carelessly leave on a counter isn't exercise. Sharing the "good news" without caring for the person your sharing with isn't exercising it just basic stuff anyone can do, believer or not.
There are people out there that actually need believers to demonstrate Christ's example and trust me pew sitting isn't the answer. Now, don't get all up in arms I'm not saying to abandon learning or avoid the pastors sermon I just want to challenge you to consider what you could be doing. In a time when technology has given us so many options I question the archaic approach to hearing the Word and I am frustrated with the idea that so many "christians" don't exercise the body and thus we are wasting into a helpless, fat, and soon dead presentation of a very ALIVE GOD. Pastors, get out of the droning and challenge your members by example. Don't tell them how you have a great relationship with the Almightly, SHOW THEM, show them how it drives you to giving, caring and compassion. Let's get to a point where we exercise together, in fellowship as we rejoice in what God has given us by blessing the world.
Would it kill the congregation to wear jeans one sunday and descend on a popular roadway to clean up the trash that is floating in the ditches???? Can you imagine a WHOLE CONGREGATION cleaning up the trash of the world, one mile at a time? And don't worry nay sayers, the people who aren't physically capable could actually stay behind to fix a dinner so that at the end of the amazing event a fellowship could continue as you sit and dine together! This is just one example of something a large group could do.......... take the thought and re-imagine what Sunday morning might look like for your congregation! I think we can do a much better job of exercising our blessings, physically, mentally and spiritually.