All of these ramblings about church has brought me to a deeper question about the anatomy of the church service. Why are our church services structured the way they are? I’ve seen radically different services that include all sorts of different things. Most include some sort of sermon, prayer, possibly a Bible reading, music, sometimes a special performance often referred to as special music (or just “special” if you’re at a BGEA chapel), an offering, and communion.
What’s most interesting to me is that the Bible never really talks about all of these things together in one event. The Bible commands us to meet together with other believers, but we’re not told to hold a weekly event every Sunday morning where we follow a set schedule. Maybe I need to read my New Testament again, but I don’t remember ever seeing it in there.
For that matter we don’t see anything about church buildings and property. Yet somehow over the years we’ve added all of this extra baggage and now church in our minds is a building we go to on Sunday mornings where we follow a specific routine. There’s nothing wrong with the elements of that routine or the building, or any of that. But the fact that often we only think of church as being that, especially our particular brand, that’s when we get in trouble.
The church as described in Acts is pretty revolutionary. And it’s nothing like what we have today. What if we tossed our order of service out the window and came up with something new? What would it look like? And would anybody want to come?