Thursday, June 16, 2011
Saved by the Irish...
Methinks I may have poked a hornet's nest with a stick last night. I didn't mean to, honestly, but a friend of mine sent me a message about something he and I both posted on our Facebook pages letting me know that I was going to start something by putting that out there...he was right.
I love putting things out that make folks think. Yeah, sure, sometimes when folks start thinking they get upset, and the reasons are innumerable. (I can use big words every now and then). But, if our way of thinking is never challenged, if we're never stretched beyond where we are now, can we ever really grow?
...and...I have grown a little since last night.
I'm reading a book now called "The Celtic Way of Evangelism," and evidently, the Irish actually helped preserve the church as we know it today. Who'd have thunk it? Long story short, evidently Celtic Christianity is responsible for re-evangelizing Europe, helping kick off the Renaissance, and helping usher in the Holy Roman Empire...all great things. One would think that everyone would be tickled that folks were doing those things, and most everyone was...except the Roman Church. Evidently, they were quick to criticize the Celtic evangelical movement.
Here's what hit me this morning.
The arcticle I posted last night that might have been the stick in the hornets' nest was about why there are no young people/kids/youth in most of our churches. The reason the author of this article gave was because we, as parents, have allowed everything else to become more important than corporate worship, which I still agree with. We have. Baseball games, swim meets, soccer, volleyball...you name it. Our kids are always "on the go" on Sunday morning, or at least it seems that way.
My daughter plays volleyball on her high school team, but we are blessed to have a volleyball coach, who is also a Christian. I told him that my daughter would not be there for practice or games on Sunday morning and he didn't kick her off of the team. That, I realize, is the exception and not the norm.
Now...here's the "Aha!"
Which is more important...gathering in a corporate body to worship the Triune God as a group? Or...gathering in a corporate body to worship the Triune God as a group on Sunday morning?
The Celts were successful because they were willing to do things a little differently than the way Rome had been doing things. Sooooo, and this is just me thinking out loud...if we are concerned about folks taking their kids to soccer or volleyball or baseball or basketball on Sunday morning...and not being in worship on Sunday morning...do we have to be married to the idea of Sunday morning worship as the only/primary worship experience we offer?
If Sunday is when they practice, or have tournaments, or whatever, would we be selling out to the culture around us if we offered worship on Saturday night for those folks who couldn't/wouldn't be there on Sunday morning? And which is more important, butting heads with the culture around us over something like this, or presenting an opportunity to bring a little Jesus into folks' lives?
Since entering the ministry, I have begun to see which swords I'm willing to fall on, which hills I'm willing to die on, and this morning I realized that this just isn't one of them. It is a real problem...it's a great article, and I still agree with what the guy said, but if this is the biggest problem the church is facing, this one's an easy fix. We can solve this one, no problem, which will allow us to spend the time we would have spent arguing over why sports are more important that worship doing things that really make a difference.
So, thank you George Hunter III for letting me see that we were actually saved by the Irish. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a Saturday evening worship event to start praying over and planning out. Rome might not like it, but hey, I'm not really concerned about what Rome thinks.
Here's a link to the article if you'd like to read it...