Our simple church has settled into meeting on Sunday mornings and I’ve grown to enjoy it. I have thought of six reasons I would encourage other simple churches to gather on Sunday mornings as well. Certainly there is not hard rule about when folks should meet and most every group will settle on times and locations for a host of reasons. As you think about the best time for your simple church to gather, consider the following…
1. Convenience – The hardest thing about getting folks together regularly is finding a common time that everyone is available. In general, it seems that the most available time on folks’ calendars is Sunday morning. Chances are that if you walked up to anyone on the street and asked them what they were doing on Sunday morning they would saying, “nothing!” (Unless the worked or they “go to church” which leads me to the second reason…)
2. Holy Time – Traditionally, Sunday morning from 11-12 is considered the “Holy Hour!” For many, church is something that happens on Sundays. For such people, meeting on Sunday will seem natural and normal and can help demonstrate that you believe your simple church gathering is a legitimate expression of the Body of Christ.
3. “We Are The Church” – Traditional churches offer “small groups,” “home groups,” “Bible studies,” and other types of fellowships as part of their church’s ministry programs. Most always, these meet at times other than Sunday morning so that people can “go to church.” When a simple church gathers on Sunday mornings, you immediately differentiate yourself from these other groups. You are able to demonstrate to folks that you are seeking to be the church! Of course this means that some people may not be able to “try it out” because they feel committed to their traditional church. This brings up yet another good reason…
4. Un-churched Focus – Meeting on Sunday mornings can help you focus on inviting people into your simple church family who are not presently attending a local traditional church. When your simple church is comprised of people who have no interest in going to traditional church, then you spend less energy trying to help them see why not doing traditional church programs and routines is “OK.”
5. Rest of the Day Is Available – Sometimes the best part of simple church is the conversations that happen once the meal or discussion breaks up. When the hour is late, sometimes these conversations and opportunities to minister to one another can be cut short (work in the morning, tired kids, etc.). Meeting in the morning can create space for these important opportunities.
6. Breakfast – When you gather for brunch or breakfast, that can be a fairly easy and inexpensive meal for everyone to contribute toward. Cereal! Eggs! Pastries! Oatmeal! Juice! Sandwiches! Fruit! and … BACON!
What are your thoughts? When does your simple church meet? What are the pros and cons of when you gather? What can be some challenges to meeting on Sunday mornings?
(Originally Published in February 2013)
I can make a strong argument about why Sunday morning is not the best time to meet. It’s funny, I have been thinking about why not necessarily meeting Sunday morning or even Sunday night is a better option. Post soon. 🙂
Look forward to it Nate! I think that are good reasons why Sundays would be good to avoid for “gathering” so I’m glad that you’ll be sharing some of those.
I have been thinking about this topic for a few months. And honestly, I have come to the opposite conclusion. I will try to type something out one day soon.
You had me at “bacon”. 🙂
#6 sold me 🙂 BACON!
Jesting aside, going out of one’s way to avoid Sunday can just set up a lot of “Why?” questions. Naturally, go with what works for the group, but I would never avoid Sunday.
We currently meet two to three nights a week for small groups at our box church. It can really get exhausting (particularly when you live 45 minutes away!). We also lament that there is no time to minister “in the margins”, as I call it, on Sunday mornings. It’s all about clearing the decks for the next wave of people.
Thank you, Mitch, for chiming in!
I liked what you said about how meeting on Sunday can be safer and they will plan to be at the church and can invite others to go to church so that they can gather together. My cousin has been thinking about getting some of his friends to go to church with him so that he can be a lot safer spiritually and enjoy his Sunday. He would really like to get some help from a professional so that there is more control and he can go to worship in a safe space.
I’m not sure i’m the guy to help you here. I’m not exactly sure what you mean “safer spiritually” and “more control” and “professional” help.