It’s that time of year again when we “reset” in preparation for the upcoming season. At Pathmakers, that means we take a break from worshipping together and force a week of rest for everyone on our team, from the most committed core leader to the guest just having a look. I’m not sure that we explain the “why” outright, but if you check out our Distinctives page you can get a feel for what the reasons might be… or at the very least, you’ll get a picture of the fact that we are “different” and that permeates everything we do as a gathering of Christ-followers. If you’d like to know more, reach out via the Contact page and ask whatever questions are on your mind. We’ll try to answer as soon as we can. Keep in mind that all of us in leadership work another job in addition to serving at Pathmakers Church. So, we’re not as quick to respond as your average full-timer, but it’s worth the wait.
For the rest of you, here are my suggestions for how to spend your “Reset Sunday.” Why don’t you enjoy private worship with your loved ones at home? That has always been a precious experience for my family and me. It also gives you an appreciation for the work the leaders do to help create the climate of worship, learning, and friendship that you get to experience each week. You could also visit another church in the area to see how others are worshipping, if you want? I know, crazy suggestion, right? What church leader in his right mind would suggest you “checking out the competition,” right? Look, when we say we’re “different” we mean exactly that. We’re different. Maybe others are jockeying for numbers that shift with population demographics, career changes, and people moving in and out of town, but at Pathmakers, we’re clamoring for a very different prize… the one where God says “well done, good and faithful servant.” You could go worship with a good friend or family member that goes to a church you have no desire to go to, but that maybe by going you might understand their relationship with God better. As strange as that may sound, I can tell you that by worshipping with other Christian friends at their varioius “flavor” of Christ-following church, I’ve come to love and appreciate my friends much better. It’s worth it, even if you have to drive an hour to get to it.
… or better yet, you know that friend you have that has never taken your invitation to go to church with you…? Yep, that one! Why don’t you completely blow their mind by asking them out to coffee or breakfast… this SUNDAY, December 30, no less?! Talk life, talk interests, talk about the things that are important to them. Ask God to put a question in their mouth that would allow you to bring the conversation to the subject of your relationship with God. And then do it. And when they ask you why you’re not at church just tell them that you worship with a ragtag group of misfits that believe God is more interested in who we are all the time than what we do on a Sunday morning. When they give you that look that says “huh… I’ve never heard that about a church before, this is interesting” you’ll know what to say. And if God doesn’t put the question in their mouth for you, then just enjoy your time with your friend and ask God to plant the seeds of salvation in them just because you took the time to hang out.
If you’re new to Pathmakers, you probably think it’s weird for a church leader to invite you to do any one of these things instead of going to the normal church service. It might seem odd to you, but we discovered that not only do these “reset Sundays” rejuvenate us all and provide cool opportunities to see God work in unique ways in our relationships with others, it actually reminds us how much we LIKE spending Sunday mornings together in God’s Presence. See, all too often, for us that grew up in the Church, worship becomes a chore, an item to “check off the list” to keep our “Christianity” in good working order… kind of like maintanence on a car. Now, while worshipping together each week does have that effect on us spiritually, that’s not WHY we should be doing it. The writer of Hebrews tells us (chapter 10) that we should meet together for the purpose of encouraging and building each other up. There is something about intentionally stepping away from each other once in a while that makes us miss each other (seriously, “miss”!) and it causes us to make the most of the time that we do have together. It’s very inspiring! You should try it sometime…. well, if you are part of Pathmakers, you don’t have a choice… this is us. If you’re not part of Pathmakers, come join us for a while and then experience a “reset Sunday.” You’ll wonder why no one else ever thought of this. Maybe some have read that verse in Hebrews not realizing that “neglect” can also come in the form of “routine.” Just ask any disatisfied Christian wife how much “routine” feels like “neglect.”
“Reset Sundays” protect us from “routine Sundays.”
So, this Sunday, December 30, 2012 is a RESET SUNDAY; so no worship gathering that morning. We’ll see you all the earlier on Sunday, January 6, 2013, okay? Well… forget the “earlier” comment… 10:10am is just fine. Who knows… maybe that friend will actually join you on the 6th if you ask on the 30th.