One of the practices that Christianity inherited from Judaism is the gathering of members every seven days. Of the other major religions, Islam is the only one that includes that tradition. In our 21st century, rapidly changing, complex world, the Sunday morning gathering still plays a vital role. However, attendance has been gradually falling, particularly in Europe and the United States which traditionally have had high concentrations of Christians. Part of the problem is that churches tend to rely on ancient understandings of these gatherings.
In our modern world, to love someone means to want to help them be as good as they can be. To love God, our Creator, then means to want to assist in making God’s creation as good as it can be. We honor God by our enthusiastic participation in creation, the relief of suffering and improvement of the quality of everyone’s life. Individual effort alone, however, is not very productive. Teamwork is required. The two billion followers of Jesus throughout the world have become Christ’s Team and the Sunday morning gatherings are like the huddle in football. They facilitate coordination of the efforts of the Team and provide opportunities for learning and practice. In the mainline Christian denominations around the world, attendance at the Sunday morning services is considered optional. What kind of football team would you have if the players could decide before each play whether they wanted to join the huddle? Serving on Christ’s Team is the noblest adventure on earth. Isn’t its team effort important?
Robert C. Frank
Author of Christ’s Team