I believe the primary mission of any Bible believing church is equipping the children of God in accomplishing the gospel mandate of the Great Commission. So first, let me say I love my church and I fully affirm the truth that the local church is the bride of Christ and I should treasure it as such. I believe Biblical obedience mandates that I should support the mission of my church with attendance, tithe and sacrificial service.
That’s a lot of “mission” talk. But that mission talk is what reminds me that I am supposed to be a missionary in a culture that is generally not friendly to the Bible. I am sent by God to be a light to those who need Christ. Loving. Building. Knowing. Caring. Relationships.
It seems like an obvious thing for a missionary to India, the Congo, or an Indian reserve in South Dakota to reach the people while showing respect to their culture and traditions. I wouldn’t serve food that highly offends the people of that community. I would not dress in a way that violates the social norms in that land. As long as it didn’t violate Gods law, the difference could be embraced.
Why then is there a knee-jerk reaction to churches changing their schedule for the Super Bowl? The Super Bowl is the largest, most viewed event in the United States. Maybe the world with exception to the World Cup. Would it not make sense to use the culture’s obsession with the game to facilitate an opportunity to spend time with friends, family and people who need loving, positive relationships? I would love to see a church that tells its members to go home and have Super Bowl parties. Invite neighbors, co-workers, churched and unchurched friends, and have conversations. Learn about their souls. Build a rapport. Be a missionary.
Is that having an agenda? Absolutely. But if my friends don’t know I have a gospel-oriented agenda in my life, I have deeper, more fundamental, issues. The lost are not impressed with our church attendance. Nor are they reached if we are not reaching. I am encouraged and taught in my church. But I am not witnessing when I am sitting on a pew. I am not meeting my neighbor when I am at a place where they are not. I am not more righteous when I take a stand against something that is not sin.
I am not advocating doing away with church. I love, need and embrace the local church. I am saying that our lifestyles, ministry approach and church schedules should reflect a mission more than a tradition.