Read the following list of Scriptural commands and ask yourself, “How well can I obey this commandment in a crowded Sunday morning worship service?”
- Gal. 5:13 “serve one another”
- Gal. 6:2 “carry each others’ burdens”
- Col. 3:16 “teach and admonish one another”
- Jam. 5:16 “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other”
- 1 Pet. 4:9 “offer hospitality to one another”
It is true that you can serve others by passing out bulletins, keeping the nursery, or taking up the offering. But how are you going to serve the single mom who’s car is in need of repair or the man who lost his job last week?
And unless your worship gathering breaks out into a “testimony time” how are you going to carry others’ burdens? Chances are, you don’t even know about the marital struggles going on in the lives of the couple sitting next to you. People don’t normally talk about those kind of things in a large-crowd setting
Also, other than the pastor and a few teachers, who else has an opportunity to teach and admonish one another on Sunday morning?
What about “confess your sins to each other” and “pray for each other?” Isn’t it interesting that it doesn’t say “confess your sins to the pastor during the invitation?” But instead, it calls for transparency with each other.
And besides going out to eat after the service, when do you “offer hospitality to one another” on Sunday mornings?
God must intend for us to go beyond “Sunday Morning Christianity.” Don’t get me wrong, the corporate worship service is biblical and cannot be neglected. However, if Sunday Morning is all we have, it can become a way to mask the absence of true fellowship in Christ.
I think the early Church can give us some insight on addressing this issue. Acts 2:46-47 says, “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Did you notice the two meeting locations of the early Church? “Attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes.”
- If you want a Church where people go beyond superficial traditions and serve each other at the deepest levels,
- If you want a Church where we are free to be transparent and receive genuine concern and help for our burdens,
- If you want a Church where everyone is equipped to counsel each other from Scripture,
- If you want a Church where our sins will be prayed for and not gossiped about,
- If you want a Church where people naturally want to spend time with each other,
- If you want a Church where every member can obey the commandments of Scripture,
then the home is the key.
- In a home, people find caring relationships.
- In a home, real needs are met.
- In a home, confession can be made openly.
- In a home, intercession is made for each other.
- In a home, God’s Word is studied and discussed.
Maybe that’s why Jesus went to the homes of Zacheus, Peter, Mary & Martha, Jairus, and others. When we open our homes, we are opening up our lives to one another.
Want to “bring it home?” Talk to your pastor about hosting a Bible Study in your house each week. (Pastors love to get these kinds of requests!) You might share with him your desire to create an atmosphere where people can discuss their life issues, share each others’ burdens, study the Word together, and serve each others’ needs.
And, if your pastor seems hesitant, just tell him you’ll have food and he’s invited!