Whatever Happens in Church Should Not STAY in Church!

Have you ever sat through a church service and thought, “Man, I wish I could keep this conversation going?” or “If only there was a way to get more out of this message than a page full of notes.”

This seems like an on-going desire that I have had myself and have heard others express. It seems like the potential of a Sunday message could leave a greater impact if there was some way to create on-going conversation. However, many churches are finding it difficult to create this kind of momentum.

In observation of today’s American Christian culture, most people have grown accustomed to the linear form of communication that is used by most churches during a service/gathering. Here’s how this model works:

You come. You sit. You listen. You leave.

And for the most part, before you can even reach the door to exit the building, the entire message or big idea has gone through one ear and out the other. Once again, another day; another service.

If you really think about it, this creates an empty ritualistic tradition of coming back week after week, service after service, message after message with no avail. No real retention and no life-change. Ironically, this is the dilemma of many church leaders and churches. Sad to say, many leaders have lost sight of life-change and are settling for the attendance-o-meter.

But there is good news. Several churches have begun to rethink the idea of Sunday service. Many have re-introduced small groups and are using this model as a way to create on-going conversations, accountability, and life-change. Since discipleship is one of the core elements of the Christian faith, they have realized that if there is not an effective form of out-of-service interaction, church as we know it can become nothing more than a Sunday morning routine.

Another great approach that one church is using is the ability to inject what happens in service into everyday conversations and experiences. LifeChurch.tv – a multi-site church located in Oklahoma – has implemented this very practical approach.

It’s called Talk it Over


The goal is to inspire church attendees to leverage their everyday experiences (ie. breakfast, coffee shop visits, small groups, web 2.0, dinner with family, etc.) to spark on-going conversations about what is being discussed in service. Even more, this may serve as a great way to inspire people to talk about everyday-life issues in view of Biblical truths.

Here’s the point I’m really trying to make here:

We MUST push against the traditional norms of turning church on Sunday into a Los Vegas visit -> “Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!”. Unlike Vegas, whatever happens in church, should not STAY in church.

Here’s a verse from scripture to ponder on…

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 16:5-9

And check out this video from LifeChurch.tv about “Talk it Over”…

2 Comments

  1. Wow, that's so true. I wasn't raised in church but the few services I did go to growing up followed that same pattern: "You come. You sit. You listen. You leave." And even when I got older and tried to take church more seriously, I still left with little to no change in my life. It's funny that some churches are re-introducing the concept of the "small group" because this concept should have been implemented all along. As Christians, we're called to follow Jesus' example and Jesus changed the world using a small group. Also, I think what would help churches with this struggle is if they actually strived to live out the first century church which is described in Acts 2:42-47. This is literally the blueprint of the church.

    Imagine if you went to church and EVERYONE (not just the pastor, his wife, and the minority of members) actually lived this passage out?! Imagine if everyone devoted their lives to the apostle's teachings (the Bible), fellowship (spending spiritual quality time, holding each other accountable, having deep talks, meeting together daily), the breaking of bread (holding communion regularly, ALWAYS remembering Jesus' sacrifice), to prayer (constantly in communication with God), it would be amazing! Imagine the impact a church DEVOTED to these things would make. Not only would it change the lives of the members, but it would truly impact the world which is our goal as Christians anyway right???

    But anyway, thanks for posting this man because it is so true. So many churches have this traditional way of going through the motions as opposed to taking the message and actually living it out (as talked about in James 2). The good news is there actually are churches striving to live out the biblical small group and the biblical church as a whole. This is going to sound like a shameless plug but I'm only sharing because this is the only church (as a whole) that I've seen come the closest to truly living out the scriptures as a whole. Not only that, but attending the church literally changed my life as it did for the close to 300 members that attend. I go to the Greater Atlanta Church of Christ (http://www.thegacc.org) and there's international churches of christ around the world (http://www.disciplestoday.org) that are focused on truly living the scriptures. Not adding any special flavoring or taking anything away.

    To be real with you Antwon, obviously we had some disagreements in the past but the things that I see you say the church SHOULD be biblically, I already see where I attend. It exists bro! Of course, it's not perfect (neither were the churches in the bible which is why Paul was always writing letters) but we are as a whole, perfectly committed striving to help each other ALL get to heaven.

    So anyway, I know that ended up running long but I just wanted to share. Feel free to hit me up on facebook if you wanna talk more.

    Adam Peace
    adam.peace@hotmail.com

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