Matthew R. Perry

A Plan to Rescue Sunday (Pt. 2 of Stop Dating the Church Review)

In church, Josh Harris on February 14, 2009 at 9:36 am

In my previous post, I reviewed the first few chapters of Josh Harris’ (pictured left) wonderful book, Stop Dating the Church (and Fall In Love With the Family of God).

In this post, I wish to review and comment on Chapter Six of this book, simply entitled Rescuing Sunday. Rescuing Sunday from what? He suggests that we rescue Sundays from ourselves.

Think about it: many times our Sundays begin with waking up late, having self-centered focuses coming into the sanctuary, distracted worship, sporadic listening to the sermons, then leaving as quickly as possible. No wonder many of us receive so little for our services.

Harris noted:

“We need to see Sunday with new eyes. Of course, in one sense it’s just an ordinary day–twenty-four hours during which the sun rises and sets. But when your heart begins to beat for God’s glory and God’s people and you begin to glimpse His longing to visit you, Sunday changes. Actually, it becomes something extraordinary. Something sacred. Something essential.”

How Do We Prepare for Sunday Worship Meetings?

“We need to get our hearts ready” (105). Not just clothes, hair, and kids–our hearts. And this begins on Saturday night, not Sunday morning. How?

  • Get adequate sleep on Saturday night. He echoes Piper’s sentiment in that we should turn off the TV on Saturday nights and not Sunday mornings. Do away with the distractions. Get up early to spend time with God in His Word and in prayer.
  • Remember that worship services do not exist for your entertainment. “Don’t live by your feelings in this moment. Instead, focus your mind on the truth of what you sing and the Person to whom you’re singing. God is observing and receiving your worship. In the light of the wonderful, gracious God He is, give it your all” (110). Listen to the sermon, for that is an act of worship to hear the Word of God.
  • After the meeting, look to love and encourage those around you. He quotes Piper again, who encourages his people to come “on the lookout for God and leave on the lookout for people” (113). The Puritans called Sunday “a market day for the soul,” a way to stock up for the week ahead.
  • During the Week, do what the Word says. Harris commented on a man from his church who went to a Starbucks on Monday mornings to review the notes he took from Sunday’s sermons to see what ways he could apply the Word (see James 1:22-25). We need to have our hearts actively engaged in God’s Word so that we may plug in His Word that rests in our hearts.

There are many who say, “Church is optional. I don’t need church to worship God.” Not according to His Word (Hebrews 10:19-25). We need one another to pray for us, keep us accountable, and to bear our burdens as we walk in Christ Jesus. There is a prolific number of “one anothers” in the Scriptures which speak to how Christians need one another.

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