I see quite a few social media posts with the hashtag (which used to be the number or pound sign when I was growing up) of “Sunday Fun Day.” Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with having fun on a Sunday. After all, God gave us the Sabbath as a day of rest. It’s the execution that gives way to a problem. It’s not the fun after church I’m talking about. It’s the fun instead of church.
As a trend, meaning it’s not true for everyone, there seems to be a decline in corporate worship on Sunday mornings, especially within the Young and Median Adult age groups (20 – 45 years). Why is that? Well, for a few reasons.
For many of us, it’s because we’re busy. We’ve piled so much into our schedule that we’ve allowed it to over-run our need for worship. Maybe it’s a work schedule, or just a need to take care of household duties, or maybe we simply want to sit and veg out after a busy weekend of running around. Sometimes that bed looks a whole lot more inviting than that church pew.
In other cases, we make plans to have a family get together or outing and getting an early start or an extended visit does look inviting. If you’re from my neck of the woods, that Canton shopping weekend really is fun, especially if you can score some of those delicious German-roasted nuts. Our family likes to camp and many times we will go out for a long weekend just to soak it all in.
Then there’s the sports life. Around here we’ve got baseball, soccer, football, cheer, track, swim, volleyball… You name it, we got it. (Except maybe hockey or lacrosse. You don’t hear much about those in Central Texas.) You could easily have a “select” team playing a game or tournament on a Sunday. Not to mention the games on the television!
Those are the main reasons we’re not in church on a Sunday morning. Obviously, I’m not talking about missing due to illness. I’m talking about the sporadic worshiper. Basically, we’re young and we’re living life. Church seems to be that thing you do when you get older, your children are grown, and you have nothing better to do than to get up, get coffee, and get some Jesus.
The only problem is that the Bible doesn’t support that. In fact, in Hebrews 10:25 we are told to not give up meeting together … but to encourage one another. And why is it that we are told to come together? Why is it important? Because we are some backsliding, fickle sinners.
If we are not actively seeking out fellowship and worship with other believers that can encourage, disciple, and, when needed, rebuke us, then we only have ourselves to keep us on the right path. And let’s face it, we’re pretty lenient when it comes to us. One of the greatest lines I hear Christians say on this matter is, “I can worship God anywhere.” And that’s true. You can. It just doesn’t usually happen when you’re watching that football game or walking around the zoo, or trimming those bushes. Out of sight. Out of mind.
But that’s the affect on us adults. Let’s think about what it does to our children. Right off the bat, it tells them that church isn’t important. It tells them that having fun and living life is more important than worshiping and learning about the One who gave us this life. And when we teach our children this at an early age, it should be no surprise when those same children walk away from the faith all together.
Allowing this compromise on God’s word opens the door for other compromises down the road. Is it really important that I remain humble? Modest? Serve others? Does it really matter if I have premarital relations? Do I really have to respect authority? Isn’t that just part of that outdated religion?
The signals we send our children are important and lasting.
Now, am I saying that my family has never or will never miss a Sunday worship? No. I’d be lying if I did. As I said, we like to go camping and sometimes that runs over into Sunday. But it’s not the norm. We choose not to schedule major commitments on that day. And yes, that means that we choose not to participate in some of those activities that take place on Sundays.
For us, Sundays are about worship, family, and rest. And that sure does make Monday a whole lot easier to face.