What if I called everyone and told them there’s no church this week? Would everyone still seek each other out and gather? I don’t mean, “would they turn up here at our place, crowding the entrance and pawing at the locked door and groaning out, “church, church, church”?”. I just mean, would they come together or would some scatter and others look for an organized gathering someone else had programmed?
I remember being part of a church plant and one of our ‘rules’ to be a member (note to self: topic for another time) was that you HAD to attend a House Group. I’m using capitals because when we said it you could HEAR the capitals and we meant a programmed group, not just any group of people who got together in someone’s house. There was one very honest person there at one of our very first House Groups who said, “I’m only here because I have to.” And sometimes I wonder if we just stopped, would people know how to just get together?
Or maybe we’ve been ahead of culture on this. A big thing on the go is ‘speed dating’. Quick, programmed gatherings where you can make connections quickly, efficiently and without commitments and make your way home after 2 hours with your status, life, circle of friends, completely unchanged. Is this an example of the world finally imitating the church?
In other parts of the world, people live for getting together. In some places it’s the only way they can live. Do we program because we’ve forgotten how to just hang out, with intention, together?