The church has been worshiping in the same format for pretty much the same format for the last 17-18 centuries since the church was institutionalized.
- we gather
- we sing
- hear a sermon
- sing some more
- collect offering
- and go back home to gather to do the same thing again the next week
This is the pattern whether we are Presbyterian, Catholic, non-denominational, etc.
The question is, when does the gathered church ever do and become the church? I mean, when do we actually start doing the evangelizing, the mercy giving, the grace extending, the ministering to the poor, praying for our neighbor thing? Are these things that Christ-followers are supposed to do on their own? When does the gathered church ever live out its mandate to be the church?
Our generation, more than ever, is an activistic generation. The only thing that gives the church street cred is when we actually live out the ministry and the mission of the church.
The church is great at gathering and huddling. But when does the church break out of the huddle to start being the church?
I am beginning to question the way we've been doing church. Maybe, when the Bible lesson is about sharing our faith, we ought to hear that message, and then go out to the Starbucks, the Walmart, and our neighborhood and actually start sharing our faith. Maybe, when the lesson is about meeting each others' needs, we break right from the huddle right there in the church and the church gathers with one another to start meeting each others' needs.
The church needs to do and be more than the gathered faithful. The church must become the sent faithful into a world that needs what only God can offer.