There were several good and unique responses to the last post re: the “would you give up your seat in an easter service so someone else could have it” hypothetical scenario. It’s actually a less hypothetical scenario than you might think. I ran across a good friend of mine who was considering exactly that, and I was a little taken aback just because I had never really thought about it that way.
I thought about simply adding my comments to the last post, but decided to post what I think is an underlying and perhaps more important question. I believe how you answer this question drives your response to the last question, so I’d like to pose it explicitly:
What, exactly, is the purpose of a weekend church service?
Note that the question is not, “what is the purpose of the local church”…I’m focusing in specifically on weekend services. Why do we invest in them? Why do we attend them? What value do they bring? What is the benefit?
What do you think?
3 Replies to “What is the purpose of a weekend church service?”
I’m going a bit off the cuff here, but I’m not certain we can make the “purpose of weekend service” mutually exclusive from the “purpose of the local church”. I guess I say that because it was never supposed to be about the building or the service itself or the individual ministries per se. Rather I think services (and all things related) are simply places/methods to facilitate the purpose of the local church body…and those purposes being (from a broad perspective) to love God with our mind, soul, body, strength, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to make disciples among all the nations and to make God glorified in those things. There are obviously differing ways to facilitate, teach, and execute those commandments (which is why we have divisions among the Church) but the purpose of spending 3 hours (or whatever) at Sunday Services is less about what we do on Sunday as it is what those things allow us to do for the entire 168 hours of every week.
I agree with you, Bob. But, at the end of the day, all local churches makde decisions on how they leverage their resources to accomplish some mission. And universally, one component that local churches institute is a weekend service. So, why? Does a local church need a weekend service to be a local church?
Please note that I’m not heading toward a place where we diminish the importance of the local church or even weekend services. I’m just wondering how the body today defines the purpose of a weekend service. I mean, if a large portion of our giving is going toward it, we ought to know what the purpose of it is, right? Is it as “open” as “love God and love others”, or would you define it more specifically?
John, I would hope the purpose of week end service is to cement our community. That is the time we laugh, cry hug, and pray with each other. The sermon is important as a teaching tool, but I have come to think that it also serves the purpose of being a common experience for the community to share. The work I am in now is new and small, the fellowship after service is a service in itself. At times. without planning we will have food and hang out together for a few hours. It is recharging to be together before we must go out into a world that does not share our values or belief.