Dr. Stephen McMullin (Acadia Divinity College) has shared with me that often he has conversations with Christians regarding the challenges that churches face today. He says some are mournful and convinced they know the issue. The problem they say is, “Sunday is not SACRED anymore! It’s simply another day. Sports have taken over for kids. Shopping is commonplace for parents. There’s nothing special about Sunday anymore.” Their posture is, “If we could just GET OUR SACRED SUNDAY BACK, all would be well!”
There are others, Steve says, that say, “SUNDAY is NOT sacred anymore!” They say it with a glimmer in their eye and a posture of anticipation! Their attitude is one that recognizes the opportunities and embraces a 24/7 Christ-follower posture. They suggest “There are opportunities for gathering everyday of the week. SUNDAY is NOT sacred anymore!”
It’s all about the posture that we take in the current culture that we live. Now don’t hear what I’m not saying – I still value Sunday. I regret the loss of Sunday as a day of rest, the day when many (even most) could find some Sabbath rest. I regret that it has lost some uniqueness and that our culture no longer protects one day, if not for Christians, FOR FAMILIES that need time together when shops are closed and hockey tournaments still avoid Easter weekend. But that is not TODAY!
As a family of CBAC churches, one of our three essential priorities is the establishing of 65 new congregations by 2025. In our current climate, where Sunday is not sacred, the opportunities exist now not only for Sunday…but for Monday and Tuesday and every day of the week. There is a shift taking place – leaders and churches are recognizing the incredible influence and impact of a multiplicity of congregations.
Could it be that it is no longer only about getting “bums in seats” on Sunday? Could it be that multiplying new micro-congregations on Tuesday, adding a “café church” on Thursday and a Seniors complex micro-site gathering on Friday is the way in a 24/7 culture? Could it be that a multiplicity of congregations, all connected to your church, meeting at various time and in various locations, can have far greater impact when “Sunday is not sacred”. Can we see the possibilities?
Isn’t it somewhat odd when Tim Hortons says, drop by whenever is convenient; Goodlife says we’re open 24/7 for your work out and TD Bank says do everything online at your convenience … and the church says, “Oh you have spiritual questions? GREAT! You are looking for community and a place to connect? AWESOME! We would love to meet you! 10:30am Sunday is when we’re available! We’ll be there!” That is no longer acceptable!
Sunday gatherings more and more will become one option for churches that recognize the new day in which we find ourselves. Effective, culturally aware churches will begin to model a multiplicity of gathering and congregations.
The question? What could that look like for your church? Join us at Oasis 2018 in August (Wolfville, NS) this summer to hear more! www.oasis.baptist-atlantic.ca.