Sunday can be a wonderful day. For most of us, it's the day of our primary weekly gathering with our church families. I'm already anticipating our fellowship tomorrow. I hope you are looking forward to yours, too.
Sunday can also be a dangerous day. It can be dangerous to both our church families and to us as individual Christians.
Sunday becomes dangerous when we place too much emphasis upon our gathering. The danger occurs when Sunday becomes "when we do church" or "when we are the church" to the exclusion of other days. I'm not talking about 100% on Sundays and 0% the remainder of the week. I don't know of any Christians who live like that. Rather, I'm talking about the trap of actually living as if Sunday dominates our church life. Things get out of kilter if, for example, Sunday composes 40% of church life, while the other days make up 60%.
I'm not necessarily referring to church gatherings. Rather, I'm talking about living out the Christian life. Jesus Christ never told us to take a day off and wait for Sunday to be spiritual. He never suggested that we reserve worship, edification, fellowship, and servanthood for Sundays.
I just used a calculator to divide 100% by seven (days in the week). The answer comes to about 14.3. This means that we should live about 14.3% of our church life each day of the week. That may seem a little silly, but what I'm trying to emphasize is the importance of being the church 24/7.
I'll be honest. I fall into this trap all the time. I'm excited because God has in the last year opened my eyes to new and wondrous things about His church. Many of these are lived out in the gathering. Since the primary gathering tends to be on Sunday, that day is obviously important. What I have to fight against is letting Sunday be too important.
I encourage you to think about how much emphasis you place on Sundays in your church life. You may already have a healthy balance. If you do, I hope you encourage other Christians to be more balanced. If you are out of balance (like I tend to be), I encourage you to labor against this.
So what can we out-of -balance folks do? I have a few ideas (in no particular order):
1. We can actively strive to contact and fellowship with our church family on the other days of the week. Coffee shops are excellent for this.
2. We can look for opportunities to share our faith during the week. Of course this should be an obvious one, but I don't know how much we really do it.
3. We can skip the Sunday gathering occasionally to remind ourselves that Sunday is not uber-important and that our church family can get along without us.
4. We can meet as a church family on a different day of the week (gasp!) once in a while.
5. We can pray for opportunities to be servants 24/7, and then follow the opportunities the Lord gives us.
I'll admit to being no expert on this issue. I struggle with it as much as any of you. So what do you think? Do you struggle with this? Do you have any other ideas about how to have an appropriate balance throughout the week?
My friend Alan has recently written on this same subject. Read his post here.