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WWJG II

27 June, 2003 4:07 PM

Fellow Melbournian Martin Roth has posted in response to my Where Would Jesus Go? post. He adds to the list that the young people I asked the question to came up with by including:

- the stock exchange
- the local delicatessen
- the Melbourne Club (this city's poshest, members-only businessmen's club)
- Melbourne Park for the Australian Open tennis tournament
- Flemington Racecourse during the Melbourne Cup horse racing carnival
- the Royal Australian Air Force base at Laverton
- the boardroom of National Australia Bank (Australia's largest bank)

Although its a bit of an 'artificial' question to ask it is an interesting exercise to do. I tend to agree with Martin that Jesus would probably show up in some of these places also - but it would be interesting to see what approach he would take in each of them. What would he say - how would he relate to people - what issues would he confront...and how?

The other question that springs to mind as I continue to ponder the question and the two lists is 'where do Churches spend most of their time, energy and resources?' My experience in the churches that I've been involved in is that we tend to spend a fair bit of energy and money upon putting on programs, building buildings and creating worship services that largely focus upon those who are already Christians.

As a minister I was always frustrated that so much of my time was focused upon planning and preparing for Sunday morning and evening. When you add to this the time and energy of the voluntary team putting on these services you find that a vast amount of energy is often poured into a couple of hours on a Sunday. (just a 2-3% of the average persons waking hours per week)

Whilst I'm convinced that gathering together to learn, build community, pray and worship is central to faith, I wonder if perhaps we have our priorities slightly out of line in the church today?

What if we put half as much energy and time into producing Sunday services and instead redirected the rest of the time into resourcing and supporting our congregations to live out their faith in practical ways in the places that they spend the majority of their weeks (work, neighbourhoods, family, school, sporting clubs etc)? I wonder what the impact would be?

Comments

Page:

Darren, I just discovered your blog about a week ago and I gotta tell you, I really appreciate your thoughts. They've made me think. That said, wouldn't it indeed be wonderful to find out what would happen if a church spent half of its time and resources on encouraging its members to minister to the community where it lives, works and plays? I suspect we'd see a major change in the heart of the church as a whole. Ask anyone that does an outreach or goes on a mission trip, when you spend time with "the least of these" getting to know them and trying to make a difference in their lives, something happens in you own heart.

Stacy » 27 June, 2003 9:18 PM

Some day we will all (me included) get a handle on the fact that whenever any one of us goes to any of those places, Jesus *is* going there. Lord help us to act like it and just go, already.

debi » 28 June, 2003 10:06 AM

One of the comments you made leads me to ask a question that I think is foundational in this discussion:

"As a minister I was always frustrated that so much of my time was focused upon planning and preparing for Sunday morning and evening. When you add to this the time and energy of the voluntary team putting on these services you find that a vast amount of energy is often poured into a couple of hours on a Sunday."

My question: What is the *purpose* of the Sunday service?

I believe the purpose is for the Body of Christ to gather together to join in corporate worship. I believe that our focus is to be on worshiping our Lord, hearing the preaching of His word, and sharing in communion.

I don't believe that the focus should be, as you put it, "producing Sunday services." Sabbath worship is not a product to be consumed by the masses, but I time to gather to corporately worship.

Having said that, I agree that " My experience in the churches that I've been involved in is that we tend to spend a fair bit of energy and money . . . that largely focus upon those who are already Christians."

May we all be challenged to leave the Christian ghetto, seeking out our Lord's lost sheep.

Alexandra

Alexandra » 28 June, 2003 12:50 PM

how about the ghetto /barrio of your area? jesus lived in "the hood" - the Scripture says he set up hq in Galilee...

rc » 29 June, 2003 11:14 AM

If church isn't spurring Christians to love, good works, personal holiness, and sound faith and doctrine, then we're doing something wrong.

Eph 4:12 tells us that church exists "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ". If the saints are being perfected, if we're not trained for the work of the ministry, if the ministry isn't edifying the body of Christ, we're just wasting our time.

Hebrews 10:24-25 "24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Ephesians 4:11-14 "11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; "

Robert Williams » 1 July, 2003 12:14 AM

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