Every Once In a While…

…Facebook channels something worth reading. The following is from “Sunday Worship: Gas Station, Huddle, Or…?” by David VanDrunen.

“What exactly are you doing when you go to church on Sundays? If you had to analogize going to church with something in everyday life, what would that analogy be? One popular analogy is that going to church is like stopping at a gas station. Church is a place where we stop to fill up our tanks after a tiring and stressful week and thus get recharged for the week ahead. Another analogy compares going to church to a huddle in a football game. Church is the gathering of all the team’s players so that they can regroup, encourage each other, and prepare for separating again and facing the opponent through the coming week. Are these analogies effective for understanding the church?

“I suggest that these analogies are radically insufficient and misleading. Perhaps most obviously, these analogies portray going to church as a human-centered event. Going to church is not primarily about me or even about us, but about God. I go to church not first of all to benefit myself (though that is a very important secondary effect) but to worship the Lord. A second deficiency in these analogies is that they place the real action of the Christian life somewhere other than in the gathering of God’s people for worship. Athletes do not play football in order to huddle and fans do not attend games in order to watch the huddles–what athletes and fans really care about are the plays executed when the ball is snapped. People do not go on road trips in order to stop for gas–drivers and passengers set out to enjoy the scenery and to arrive at their destination. Huddles and gas stations are means to an end. The life and ministry of the church are not means to an end. They do not exist to recharge our batteries or to give us a strategy for facing the week ahead. The church’s worship and fellowship are ends in themselves. Nothing we do in this world is more important than participating in these activities. Participation in the life of the church, not participation in the cultural activities of the broader world, is central for the Christian life.”

Food for thought.



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