Okay, this is a dangerous blog post. On the other hand, what I’m going to say is something that most of you have thought, guessed or experienced anyway. But still I’m not sure that I should write what I think I’m gonna write. You see I’m a pastor (well usually I’m a pastor, right now I’m just a guy on sabbatical) and as a pastor, my career success is — at least somewhat — defined by how many people show up to church on any given weekend. So for me, this is a dangerous blog post.
Here’s the deal. I went to church today, but I didn’t go to Calvary. In fact I didn’t go to a building — it was truly a church without walls. There weren’t too many of us there, only 6. But what we lacked in a quantity of people, we made up for with a quantity of time. We had church for about 5 hours! There wasn’t any sermon, or children’s ministry, or worship team, or powerpoint, etc. etc. But if church is all about connecting with people you care about and encountering God, than church was good today.
So where did I go to church today? Bald Eagle State Park. A Calvary family allowed us to use their boat and our family (minus one and plus one) spent the day tubing, swimming and picnicking. Now don’t hear what I’m not saying. Hebrews 10:25 says “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another...” I love Calvary. I miss preaching, worshiping, gathering with my whole church family. But sometimes it’s good to be reminded that you don’t have to go to 1250 University Drive to encounter God, to find joy, or to hear God speak.
Sometimes we box God up and compartmentalize Him into a weekend worship gathering, or maybe 30 morning minutes a day. But God invades our days 24/7 and He is waiting for us everywhere we go. Today I heard Him in my kid’s laughter and the sound of ducks landing in the lake. Today I saw God in the way the rays of sun poked through the clouds ahead of my and glistened along the surface of the water. I heard God as I watched Jake and John and Sarah and Josh take the risk of riding in a tube while I drove the boat. I sensed God saying, “Dan it’s okay to risk when you know your Father is driving the boat, let your life be an adventure with me.”
In Isaiah 29 God makes a complaint against His followers, he told them that they all knew the right words, but their hearts were far from Him. In October I will be back at Calvary — and I can’t wait — but today I experienced awe and joy at the gifts of God and my heart was not so far from Him.
My question is Where do you go to Church? And asking the question shouldn’t necessarily incline us to skip a weekend worship gathering at Calvary…BUT it could be a reminder that if God is good and God is everywhere… church can truly be without walls.