RESET SUNDAY :: NO WORSHIP SERVICE ON AUGUST 31, 2014
Allow me to explain…
That whole “it’s Church, but Different” isn’t a catch-phrase for us (it is a little “catchy” though, isn’t it?). And one of the more “different” things we do as a group is take some intentional days off… sabbaticals from our “Sabbath,” if you will (technically, Sabbath is Saturday, but the symbolism holds). It’s a great opportunity for our folks who faithfully invest their time every Sunday to have a much needed rest, not just from the work, but from the responsibility of assuring the work to be done whether or not they are able to be there (this is big and if you’ve ever burned-out as a leader, you’ll appreciate that). It gives our leadership defined ministry seasons to start new activities and material (like the new series on Ephesians this Fall or the new small groups getting started…). It also restores our appreciation for meeting together and the joy we are supposed to have simply because we get to do that. Not the “burden” of having to be there “again…”
Or to put it another way, I know too many leaders who, while faithfully taking their own Sunday breaks each year to “be faithful to the spirit of the law of Sabbath” fail to understand the “greater” part of that Old Covenant rule, which was to make sure your family and those who serve with you (and their families) get that time of rest, too. In fact, based on the 10 Commandments’ commentary on the Sabbath rule (Exodus 20) and the Christian principle of “God first, others second, me last” (see Matthew 22 on the Great Commandments), I’d say the most important part of the Sabbath command was that you, as a leader, made sure those who follow you get their breaks, too. It was David in his most famous Psalm (24) that identified God’s shepherding style as “making me lie down in green pastures” and “leading me beside quiet waters” and “restoring my soul.” I can’t say I’m great at the last two (as those who serve with me could tell you), and I’m not so sure I’m great at leading us to green pastures either, but I am adamant that “the flock” lie down a few times per year. People can do whatever they want… visit another church, sleep-in, go camping, seriously… whatever they want to do (my encouragement is to check in with God and see what He wants). The people of Pathmakers can even meet for worship together in homes. Spend your sabbatical the way you believe would give you the greatest rest. But the “official” flock-sanctioned stuff… we’re not doing those things. We’re lying down… green pastures or not.
From our founding, our leadership has chosen three Sundays each year to take these “Reset Sundays.” Those are the Sundays after Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Christmas Day (in the US calendar). It’s refreshing!
It’s also always up for debate. We have our detractors. Maybe we should pick different dates. Maybe we will in the future. And we could be wrong about this entirely. But all I can say to someone who thinks we might be in violation of Hebrews 10:25 is to have a read of Colossians 2:16-23 for some context and perspective. And that maybe a church that realizes that “the Sabbath was made for human beings; not the other way around” as Jesus said in Mark 2:27 is a refreshing way to do and be “The Church.” Plus, you can really blow the minds of nonbelieving friends and family when you invite them to breakfast and tell them why you’re not “at church” (as if “church” was a place and not “the people”).
So, if you like the idea, you might come visit with us for a few weeks. Because the heart that leads us to this unique expression of worship, is the same heart that produces a number of other unique and unexpected expressions of church at Pathmakers Church. We are church, but different! Come find out why!
…well… come find out why, but not this Sunday, August 31, 2014! We’re on RESET!