Deb and I still have a bunch of really great friends back in Nor. Cal who will always be a part of our lives and the Kingdom effort. One friend that is somewhat new to me is a great guy named Troy who has been involved in church planting and discipleship for a while and is really striving to know God. Troy and Dawn live on the edge for Christ and I really appreciate their wisdom and input. So, I was strolling down one of Troy’s blogs yesterday and came across a recent post he put up. I thought that it really fit some of the discussions we’ve had on Kingdomology and the CHURCH. In particular, do we really need to go to church every Sunday or is that just something archaic and for our grandparents. I’ve got some thoughts, but check out Troy’s post, chew on it for a bit, and I’ll get back to you in a few days.
From, Sacred Scribbling. by Troy Dean.
This week I am away for a few days of solitude and reflection. This is the third Spring I have visited St. Columba Retreat House. It’s located on the Point Reyes Peninsula. I typically take a hike each day somewhere I can hear the waves crashing and see wildlife unseen in Lincoln (elephant seals). There is a historic lighthouse at the very end of the point. Many folks travel the winding roads pass a number of historic farms to come to visit and whale watch for a few moments. There are 300+ steps down to the lighthouse from the visitor’s center. It’s usually quite windy and sometimes foggy. The interesting thing about this particular lighthouse is that it no longer is lit. It does still have a loud fog horn that goes every 30 seconds, yet the light no longer is shining. It’s not due to budget cuts either. A number of years ago it was made automatic but now is dark. The information center states that since so much of our navigational equipment has advanced to include satellites and GPS maps, the light is no longer necessary. Modern day shipping no longer needs lighthouses.
It seems to me that might be said about what many think about the Church today because technology has given us a buffet for our spiritual appetites. We have a ton of unique and helpful Bible translations and tools to help us navigate the scriptures. We can listen to a favorite teacher or message via podcast. We have access to so many worship songs through sites like iTunes that we can construct our own personal worship set. We have big and comfortable homes to connect with our friends and host a family BBQ. We even have PayPal to help us give to those charities and compassion projects that personally move us. We can do everything that we do on a Sunday through our homes and the advanced technology of the internet. So who needs Sunday (or Saturday) church? It seems that modern Christians no longer need churches. Can’t we just sit in front of our glossy screens (mine is an iPad) as belonging becomes an online customizable experience? Do we really need the gathered church?
Before I respond to this critique, allow yourself to take a few moments and reflect on the question. Why do we need Church? Especially our weekend gatherings?
What do you think?