Today we continue Audience Participation Week. My independent committee has made their final selection, and they’ve chosen submissions by Doug Garris, Spence Shelton, Veronica Greear, and Kiani Arkus. Yes, Veronica is our lead pastor’s wife, and yes, Spence is a member of the committee. I had no input. Take it up with them. To figure out which words below were submitted by Spence, check out the comments on this post.
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A few years ago, a very popular preacher / pastor / megaChristian made the comment “It’s the weekend, stupid” a household phrase. Well, okay, maybe not in your house. But here in God’s house where I hang out, that phrase became the buzzword. The weekend service serves as a cornerstone for much of what we do in the church world. If our weekend suffers, our church as a whole will suffer. If the weekend isn’t given a lot of focus, then that slack attitude will reveal itself in the rest of our ministries.
However, I’ve chosen not to use that particular phrase in this blog. Well, other than the fact that I just used it. But I promise not to say, “It’s the weekend, stupid” anymore starting now. The main reason is that the Moravian church once had a large influence in North Carolina, and I like Moravian cookies, and it’s a proven fact that Moravians don’t like the word “stupid.” Seriously, read a can of their super-thin cookies and see if you see the word “stupid” show up there one single time. So if I want to get a lucrative Moravian cookie sponsorship (suggested slogan: “Our products are thinner than Connective Tissue!”), I’d better mind my p’s and q’s.
The phrase I focus on now is, “Every day is Sunday morning.” I heard a variation of this from another megaChristian once, and I believe it’s very true. Sunday morning pretty much pervades every other day of my week. The majority of meetings I attend deal with preparing for Sunday morning, critiquing Sunday morning, getting feedback on Sunday morning, and improving Sunday morning. Around the Summit, going into a Sunday morning unprepared is like being a spelunker without a flashlight. You’ll wander around a lot, have a lot of unnecessary crashes, and maybe even plummet to your death.
Pastors ignore Sunday mornings at their own peril. While that deacon’s meeting may be important and the paint color for the nursery ain’t gonna choose itself and we have a backlog of smarmy e-mails from church people who ask stup-…um…not so intelligent questions like “Can God create a platypus so big that people will stop asking ‘What’s the deal with the platypus’?”, the fact is that Sunday morning can’t be ignored. They can’t be forgotten. And they won’t go away.
Sunday mornings are the front door for 99% of American churches. That’s where our guests grade us. It’s where the gospel should primarily be shared. It’s the main vehicle for the message. And I believe that all the stops should be pulled out on Sunday mornings. We should do everything possible to proclaim Jesus, to love guests, and to encourage fellow believers.
Because when it’s all said and done, it really is all about the weekend, blockhead.