Will “Dones” and others who have left the institutional church, go back to church as usual in a post-Christian society?
National Back to Church Sunday (NBTCS) thinks they will. It was begun in the United States in 2009. Their website says that this year (2016) 30,936 churches are taking part in it. They are from more than 100 denominations and in all 50 states (as well as countries around the world).
Here’s a quote from their web page: “Back To Church Sunday is a campaign strategically designed to help churches reach out and invite everyone to try church again. This powerful movement encourages church attendance by inspiring and empowering church members to invite their neighbors, friends and loved ones to a special Sunday service designed just for them.”
To celebrate Back To Church Sunday, let’s go all the way back (beyond church as usual). Let’s go back to a form of Christian worship that preceded the traditional Western church format — the New Testament concept of a Christ-led support group as taught in 1 Corinthians 14:26. Philip Yancy puts it this way: “All too often the church holds up a mirror reflecting back the society around it, rather than a window revealing a different way.”
So why are people leaving church? Perhaps it is because they get board when they are required to just sit and listen to a religious talk. However, when people are allowed to talk freely about their personal experiences with the living, resurrected Jesus Christ, they come alive with excitement!
The most effective group communication depends on dialogue, sharing ideas, and personal interaction. A monologue reduces attempted communication to passively listening to one person’s ideas. That may work in an authoritarian environment, but it fails to build relationship. Perhaps it is time to go beyond church as usual.
Without the free flowing,
Of genuine love for Jesus
And surrender to His presence,
Christianity becomes a shell
Of programs and performances.
“Having a form of godliness,
But denying the power thereof,
From such turn away.”
2 Timothy 3:5
At The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, our goal is to go “back to church” as taught in 1 Corinthians 14:26, where ordinary people are free to show and tell what God has done. Learn more in the book, Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible, available in paperback and Kindle @http://amzn.to/2d5fr9d. Visit us on Sunday mornings at 10:45 at 225 Berry St. 37207.