May I share a guest post with you today? I receive weekly, even daily, emails from several well known church leaders, including Carey Nieuwhof. (I don't know any of them personally but benefit from their wisdom.) Carey's teaching is always excellent. This article is from his executive assistant and is outstanding. I guess you could say today's post is a guest post of a guest post.
What You Never Know You Miss by Skipping Sunday Morning
By Carey Nieuwhof | 12-1-18
Today’s post is a guest post by my executive assistant, Sarah Piercy, who in addition to working with me for the last 10 years, is a wife and young mom. She wrote this piece for our church blog, and, well, it was too compelling not to share it with you here. In particular, I love point 3. Never heard that metaphor before, and it’s so true in my view. Hope it helps!
I thought missing a Sunday morning service wasn’t a big deal.
I have worked at Connexus Church for 8 years and would only miss a Sunday because I was away on vacation. Quite honestly, I didn’t think missing a Sunday was a big deal. It’s not a sin. It’s not earth-shattering. No one notices (or do they?). Right? Then I had a baby and went on maternity leave.
And I started to participate in our church community like most people do.
And everything changed.
Because, when I miss a Sunday service, I miss way more than I ever thought.
From birthday parties to a sick baby, a variety of reasons had kept me from participating on Sunday mornings. I would watch online. And online is great to keep me connected when I can’t be there in person. Or to share with friends and neighbors who are curious about church but not ready to come. So easy!
But – given the choice – attending on Sunday morning trumps all else. Every time.
When I skip Sunday morning…
1. I MISS UNINTERRUPTED TIME TO LISTEN FOR GOD’S WISDOM
Sunday’s practical teaching translates into godly wisdom that I can apply daily life – it is so valuable.
Sure, you can hear great teaching in a variety of ways. But listening online is different than listening in the service.
I don’t know about you, but when I listen at home I have a long to-do list. A child that loves attention. A phone that rings. Floors to sweep. Laundry to fold. Neighbors’ dogs barking. I almost never absorb the message in the same way as I do when physically present on Sunday.
When I’m in the service, I have uninterrupted time. Time to focus on what God is teaching me and reflect on how He wants me to grow. My child is being cared for, my phone is on silent, and there are no chores waiting for me.
I can focus. I can engage my heart and mind.
2. I MISS THE VALUE OF WORSHIPING GOD THROUGH MUSIC WITH OTHERS
This one is interesting. And might even be surprising to you.
There’s something intangible that happens when we worship God – out loud – with hundreds of people who share faith in Jesus.
Sundays are an irreplaceable opportunity to take a step back from the busy day-to-day and directly praise the God that loves me and is incredibly worthy of my worship.
Music roots my heart and mind in the truth of who God is. It remembers and celebrates powerful scripture. It leads me to humble myself before God’s majesty in a way that doesn’t always happen when music playing in the car or in the background while I do the dishes.
Worshiping God through music on Sunday’s – with hundreds of people – grounds and fuels my faith.
It inspires me to keep worshiping, keep believing, keep serving, keep loving.
3. I MISS THE POWER AND MOVEMENT OF THE CHURCH
The Church has a mission and purpose. And every believer is part of it. We get to spread the amazing news that Jesus Christ loves you, died to forgive you, and he is alive, bringing new life to all who believe in him. What an incredible message to sit on. We can be a Christian and not actively participate in the local Church. Our salvation is not dependent on that. It’s dependent on Jesus.
But there’s more at stake than that…
Your life is a babbling brook. It twists and turns and bubbles and splashes. It’s beautiful. But has little strength.
But, what happens when you cross paths with another brook. And another. And another?
Something bigger starts to happen. Something one babbling brook can’t do on its own.
Then power happens.
Then Niagara falls happens! (Note: Did you know Niagara falls generates enough energy to power almost 4 million homes? No babbling brook does that.)
In the same way, 100s (or 1000s) of people moving in the same God-given direction is POWERFUL. And it doesn’t happen when we are disengaged.
When I miss Sunday mornings, I miss how God is moving our church community to action.
When I miss the host’s welcome, connecting opportunities and the stories of God at work, I miss getting to be part of it because I don’t know how.
I don’t want to miss being part of the power and movement of God’s Church.
Plus, if I’m not there, then how can I bring anyone with me?
So – I do everything I can to attend a Sunday morning service.
Because when I miss a Sunday, I miss way more than I ever thought.
Will you make a commitment to Sunday morning’s with me, too?