For generations people in the Western world have settled for church as usual — Sunday morning mediocrity (SMM). However, this has not always been the case.
For the First Century believers, church was anything but mediocre. Gathering with other followers of Christ could get them killed. They met with a sense of awe and expectation that God was going to show up and show out. And He did! (Read about it in the Book of Acts in the New Testament of the Bible.) Believers were free to respond to the Holy Spirit and to do whatever He led them to in the church meeting. (See 1 Corinthians 14:26.)
However, somewhere in the 3rd Century church meetings fell into a boring pattering of religious ritual conducted by a professional clergyman. Believers were expected to merely sit back and watch the proceedings and to occasionally repeat preplanned liturgical responses. This quickly became rather boring and produced Sunday morning mediocrity (SMM) that has lasted for 1,700 years (even though throughout history there have been groups of believers who broke out of SMM and returned to Spirit-led meetings, however, they were tremendously persecuted by the SMM believers.)
Nowadays millions of people are leaving Sunday morning mediocrity (SMM) — they are quitting church. Many have given up on Christianity. Others have started house church in their homes. This great exodus from Sunday morning mediocrity (SMM) is causing much concern among church leaders. What to do?
One solution being presented is National Back To Church Sunday (September 16, 2012) where people are being encouraged to go back to SMM. But if people go back to church and church is still the same thing that they left, why will they continue to attend?
Perhaps church needs to get back to our First Century foundation. Maybe we should tear up our programs and get back to Spirit-led participatory church. One group that has done that is The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center in Nashville. It meets on Sundays at 10:45 at 225 Berry St., 37207. Check it out. There’s nothing mediocre about it. It will challenge you, inspire you, change you, convict you, make you uncomfortable, and demonstrate the presence of the living Jesus Christ right in front of you.