Blog - Supporting Believers
Meshing Sunday and MondaySaturday, October 02, 2010
A month or so ago I wrote that reports from the front lines offered one way to close the gap between Sunday and Monday. In this and the next several posts, we'll explore more ways to bridge that chasm. If you're a church leader, you can readily incorporate some of these ideas into the DNA of your church. If you're a believer with a job, you can encourage your church to connect the weekend service with the way you serve on weekdays.
Gaps can hurt or gaps can help. If a flood washes a gully through a highway, the gap can damage cars and people. On the other hand, to ignite the fuel, a spark plug needs a gap. Something of a gap will always separate Sunday and Monday. But just as a spark plug won't work with too much gap, the church can't do its work when Sunday and Monday get too "gappy.” According to the Avodah Institute, "Studies show that even the most committed church members experience a gap between their Sunday worship experience and their Monday workplace reality.”
The Sunday-Monday gap widened long ago. Narrowing it will require us to state a clear strategy, identify effective tactics, and then stick to them stubbornly. This week, I'll suggest a strategy. In the weeks to come, we'll consider specific tactics to carry it out.
Hebrews 10:24 and 25 point us to a strategy: "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” This verse relates to the church in its two modes: gathered and scattered. Believers meeting together—that's the gathered ("Sunday”) mode. Acts of love and good deeds—those will mostly take place in the scattered ("Monday”) mode.
Taking the cue from these verses, suppose your church were to adopt a strategy something like this:
To equip workplace-ready disciples, we will mesh Sunday with weekdays by:
(1) Making scattered-church concerns a major part of gathered-church services, and
(2) Encouraging believers to gather even when scattered.
The members of Christ's body invest far more time in the scattered than in the gathered mode. They're called to do the bulk of their serving "out there.” So it only makes sense that we practice gathering in ways that prepare us for effective service when we scatter. Notice the word "mesh” in the strategy statement. Unless two gears mesh, they have no effect on each other. When they do mesh, each remains what it is. To mesh is not to morph. But for gears to carry out their purpose, the teeth of each must extend into the other.
That's the idea behind this strategy—to extend the concerns of the weekday workplace into the weekend gathering. And to extend the gathering benefits into what believers experience while scattered in their workplaces. In other words, planning ways to let Monday break through into Sunday and to let Sunday permeate Monday.
In the weeks to come, we'll discuss a number of tactics for carrying out both parts of this strategy. Along the way, please tell us your ideas on tactics for closing the Sunday-Monday gap. And let us know if you have examples of churches that are already doing so.