Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why give up your Sunday morning?

Why should we give our Sunday morning’s to attend church?


Worship is part of our gathering every single Sunday morning. So obviously this is an answer. But do we really need to worship with others?

Before we answer that we need to define worship. I won’t spend a long time on defining worship right now. But a functional definition is “being in active awe of God.”

Can we worship alone if this is the definition? Yes. Yes. Yes.
Of course we can. And we should. Most of our problems would probably cease to exist (including church problems) if we spent more time personally in worship. Allow me to suggest a couple of books to help in this journey: Practicing the Presence, Letters of a modern mystic, Present Perfect

So do we need to worship with others then? Yes.


It is a different experience
Worshiping alone and worshipping with others affects us differently.

We know that when we do something as a group it does something different to us then when we do it alone. For example I really enjoy U2’s music. But there is a difference between listening to a CD and attending their concert. I love listening to their CDs. I also love standing with 50,000 people watching U2 live. The concert is better (personal opinion). I say this even though when I saw them I was cold, tired, hungry, had stood in line for an entire day, was squished, paid too much money, had drunk people near me acting like drunk people and the music quality wasn’t even as good as my CDs. But it was an experience. An experience that I will never get by myself. Or consider sports. Why is it so much fun to be at a sporting event? Or if you watch it on TV it is better with some friends? Even people who are not into sports get into sports if they are with others.

It is the same with worship. Yes, worship alone but it is radically different worshiping with others.

It is amazing:
To be near someone who is the midst of a battle with caner, who knows they may lose this battle, and worship with them. Their worship strengthens me. And possibly my worship strengthens them.
Or to be in a crowd that raises their voice in unison to the glory of God.
Or to kneel as a community in awe of God.
Or to pray with and for others.
Or taking communion with people I do know and people I do not know. But we are together as one family because of Jesus.
These are a few of the experiences that I can never have alone. Experiences that I need, often.
Do we really need to worship with others just because it gives us a different experience? Yes. That is if you want to experience to fullness of God, and the full wonder of worshipping him.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Launch 2012

Launch 2012

Two reports. Reports that conflict. Two different stories about the same thing. The church.

One tells a tragic story. The church is in decline. People seem to walking away from the church in greater and greater numbers. Churches are closing their doors because there is no one left.

The other story is fantastic, almost unbelievably so. The church is rapidly exploding. Thousands, no tens of thousands of people are coming to Christ. Churches are multiplying at an amazing rate. In fact there some who would suggest that the church has never grown so quickly.

Both of these reports are true. The first is the story of the western church (including Canada and USA). The second is the story of the church in the rest of the world (including countries that are actively killing Christians).

We live the first story. Oh, some of churches may be growing, though many are actually declining. But we are not seeing thousands of people coming to Jesus, not even hundreds. The majority of church growth comes not from converts but from other churches. In fact many of us know too many who walked away from the church. Most of us are not part of a church that has successfully planted another church in the last 10 years.

Why does God not move in our churches the way he is moving around the world?

There is a group in southern Manitoba that have gathered together to pray, learn, and discern where God is leading us. We believe that God wants to reach the world. We believe that God is able to. And we want to be part of God’s mission.

The other night we gathered in a back yard for the first time. There were about 30 people there from the different churches in the region. We ate together (because after all we are Mennonites). Had an action plan presented. And prayed together in the rain.

This is our tentative plan:


  • We need God. Prayer is absolutely important
    • 10:2b virus - This comes from Luke 10:2. Jesus calls his disciples to pray that the God would send workers into the harvest field. So we will commit to doing that. A simple way to do this is to set our cell phone's alarm for 10:02. When it goes off pray that God will send out workers.
    • Prayer meetings - We will meet in local areas to pray together

Meet together

  • A group will meet monthly to pray, learn and discern
    • Right now it seems that this group will meet for about one year
    • There will be no meetings in summer - so the next one will be in September


  • During the summer we will read the Gospels and Acts
    • At September's meeting we will discuss what we have learned
  • At some point during the year we will be reading Organic Church and Missional Handbook.
  • Attend "The Church Planting Congress" which is happening in Winnipeg this November
  • Additional resources: There is No Time, this is put out by Advant and explains their model of "short-cycle church planting" and an issue of Mission Frontiers magazine which is dedicated to church planting


  • The group is called “launch 2012”. The reason is we are praying and hoping to launch a church plant in 2012.

There are a couple of ways you can become part of this:

1) If you are in the area join us – by attending, praying for this group…

2) Start something like this in your area, church

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why give up your Sunday morning?

This question has caused some good conversation. Some people have told me that it was actually difficult to answer (which they found a bit worrisome). But there were several reasons give to me on why we should come to church. Here are some of them:

  • We need others. The Christian life cannot be lived alone. Once we are out of relationship with other believers it seems to inevitable that we will begin to lose our passion
  • Sunday morning is a scheduled time when we come together as a community. This allows us a place to connect, pray for each other...
  • We are able to worship alone - in fact we should be worshiping alone. However there is something special, unique about worshiping God in a community of faith.
  • This is a time when learn. We should be learning on our own but sometimes we just need to learn with others.
  • Our weeks sometimes fill up and our time with God gets pushed aside - Sunday morning is a time to refocus, recharge.
Doing stuff together
  • Sunday morning creates a place where we can pool our resources together to do something together
  • Sunday morning is a time when we can hear about what God is doing in the world through us (also it is a time to just hear what God is doing in the world.)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Why give up your Sunday morning?

Why should someone give up their Sunday morning in order to come to church?

I would guess that least 95% of churches in the world today ask people to gather together weekly to sing and hear a sermon.
I know that not all of them meet on a Sunday morning. The day or time is not what I am really concerned about, just the reasons why we should come together weekly.