January Sermon Series – Stop Doing Church
I had planned on waiting until closer to the end of December before I let you in on my sermon series for January, but I figured now was the time. So here it is – beginning Sunday, January 3rd, I will begin presenting a series of lessons and afternoon Bible classes on “Stop Doing Church!” Each week, the PowerPoints, handouts and Bible class material will be provided for you. On December 31st, I will release a month long growth chart on how to “Stop Doing Church!” which will be free for download and distribution.
Does seem odd that a minister would tell others to “Stop Doing Church!?” I want your opinions and feedback regarding what it means to “Stop Doing Church!” Read the introduction below and comment on the article.
The statistic flashed across the television screen to sobering symphony music allowing the image to become grained in our minds. Statistics like these are keeping many people awake at night. Part of the insomnia is the statistic, but a larger part is why this statistic even exists! Questions fill our minds as this “1 in 8” number bounces through our minds. Many have had hundreds of questions, but some of them go unanswered because they are but passing thoughts. Others will respond to these thoughts with sincere actions and still others will respond out of guilt, whatever the reason the questions still bounce through my minds. Even more thoughts are these:
- Did you spend more than $2.50 on the ingredients for your Thanksgiving menu? More than three billion people — almost half the world’s population — live on less than $2.50 a day, according to the World Bank.
- Can you turn on the faucet to fill the water glasses for dinner, and be confident that clean water comes out of the tap? According to the World Bank, 1.2 billion people lack access to a reliable water source that is reasonably protected from contamination.
- Do you fully expect to be celebrating this holiday until you’re 65 years old, or are you older than that right now? Life expectancy is about 65 years on average worldwide — but just 46 years in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Bank.
- Are you able to enjoy the holiday in your home country, free from persecution? In 2009, roughly 400,000 people will apply for asylum in 44 developed countries to escape war or persecution related to race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group, according to the United Nations. There are more than 10.5 million refugees who have been displaced or sought haven in another country, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
- If you’re feeling a little full after your Thanksgiving meal, can you safely take a casual stroll around your neighborhood? The most recent government survey found 29 percent of Americans say there is an area near their home where they would be afraid to walk at night.
Do these statistics provide you comfort or do they make you want to pray even harder? Personally, they make my desire to pray grow stronger and more secure. They also provide me with the motivation needed for action when I begin to realize how blessed I am.
Those reasons above are some of my thought on why Christians must stop “doing church” and start “being the church.” There can be a big difference on what we do on Sundays and who we are during the week. As I consider the numbers above and the difference between “doing church” and “being the church,” questions pop in my mind:
- Are Christians missing the mission?
- Does the church have some responsibility to assist?
- Have Christians been too busy “doing church” to “be the church?”
My mind wonders how Christians should respond to the needs of society. Are Christians immune to society’s problems? Of course not! If Christians are actively pursuing souls in needs of salvation, then they will face statistics like “1 in 8 children go to bed hungry.” Every souls we come into contact with has a need (1) spiritual and maybe (2) physical. The church is made of members of society and those that are Christians are our brothers and sisters; they are part of our spiritual family!
Part of the theory to “Stop Doing Church!” is related to the mindset that church is something we do once a week, maybe twice. We all have heard that church is who you are not where you go, but are we active in our belief that we are the church? If we are the church, if we are spreading the message of Jesus, we will be finding those of the world to share with them the message of Jesus! Their troubles and problems will become ours, because when they are brothers and sisters, we have a privilege to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6.1) and the strong are to bear the burden of the weak. (Romans 15.1)
It is my goal to change lives with every lesson and sermons, turn I am going to crank it up a notch. I want to not only expose some of the religious slothfulness related to “doing church",” but I want to provide solutions and opportunities to start being the church. In fact, on December 31st, I am going to release a guide of activities and opportunities to “Being the Church in January!”
Here is your beginning question, “What is the difference in “doing church” and “being the church?”
Just some thoughts,