Cos that is what everyone is thinking on a Sunday, right? How can i make this longer? Ha. i doubt it.
This morning i will be preaching at my buddy Rob’s church, Mercy Vineyard, in Bergvliet.
My biggest hope is that when i end the message, the message doesn’t end.
Because i have seen that happen too often. Message preached – everyone high fives the pastor [metaphorically – i don’t think i’ve ever seen anyone high five a pastor – that would be the kind of church i would dig to be a part of] – and then rushes off to Sunday lunch or sport watching or the beach or whatever it is – message forgotten.
Some churches have their small groups focus on the sermon later on in the week which i like in terms of being able to take the message that was presented and really dig a little deeper into it, hopefully give space for questions and wrestling and positive engagement.
i would love to see a church gathering followed by a series of meals, where friends gather together, or maybe even more effectively people who don’t know each other that well gather together and break bread together and really chew on the message.
i want today’s message to live. Because i believe that it is life-giving. i want to see it continue in conversations, in personal wrestlings, in night-time last minute conversation between couples before they go to sleep, in Watsapp groups, on Facebook, at the local pub or restaurant. And after it has been engaged with, i would love to see it embraced and lived out.
Acts 17 has this tiny little story tucked into the middle of it, where we are introduced to a special group of people:
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
They received the message that was given and then they went and checked it out in the Scriptures to make sure the preacher was telling the truth They engaged with the words and as a result many of them believed, including some other people who may not have even been there for the original message.
So if you attended a church gathering today and you want to see the message you heard – assuming it was a good one, although engaging with a bad message can also be a good exercise of truth-seeking – live longer than tonight, or the moment you stepped out of the buiding, create a space with family or friends or work colleagues to bring up a point that stood out for you and invite discussion, wrestling, reflection…
That is church.