On the FIRST SUNDAY of every month (God-willing), we DO NOT meet at John Glenn High School. We GO into the community and SERVE. We serve with COMPASSION. No-strings-attached. Teaching takes place, but it’s interactive, re-active, and hands-on.
Ever since we launched Ekklesia (2008), we’ve been wondering… What did church services w/Jesus look like 2000 years ago?
- Jesus’ teachings were always in the context of mission, and His mission was far more than Bible studies and weekly scheduled gatherings at ONE fixed location.
- Jesus called disciples to follow “Him” and much of their mission was to go find non-disciples and meet them on their levels.
- Many of Jesus’ teachings were spoken “in reaction” to various events and conversations that resulted from interactions with non-disciples, and they took place in public settings where Jesus and the disciples were serving. Jesus’ teachings were far more “spontaneous” than the majority of preaching and Bible studies today.
In the United States, it seems our church service strategy looks more like this:
- Same time, Same place. Every week. Repeat.
- The mission: “Get people to come to us.”
- Two main formats: “Sit in a chair/pew looking at a preacher on stage” or “Sit around with Bibles in a small group.”
- Sitting is a key word. We love to sit.
All of these things can be GOOD, when done in the right combination. This stuff happened in the New Testament. Jesus, Peter & Paul preached some really long sermons… There were “fixed” locations where gatherings happened. This stuff is Biblical. However, if this is ALL we do… then we’re not Biblical, cause we’re not living the whole picture.
Here is how we envision our “First Serve Sunday” approach leading us to be more balanced, and therefore closer to the way Jesus did it:
- We won’t be limiting ourselves to a mechanistic, routine approach to teaching. Not that we are currently hard-core “mechanistic”, but if we keep doing only what we’re doing, we’ll be a lot more like a machine than a Body.
- Sitting in the same chair/building every week, same time, repeat.. repeat… is pretty lame if that’s our bread and butter.
- We are going to people who do not currently follow Jesus and not merely waiting for them to come to us.
- We are serving non-disciples with no strings attached.
- We will invite people from all worldviews to serve with us (Muslims, atheists, heterosexuals, homosexuals, pro-life, pro-choice, democrat, republican, etc…). We desire to serve alongside non-Christians. Non-Christians may not follow Jesus, but many want to make an impact in our world. We may agree-to-disagree about Jesus for now, but we will form relationships that can lead us into possibilities never before realized.