The psychology of Sunday: A preface

A discussion at Bible study tonight revolving around some issues at church have got me thinking. In a nutshell, there are whispers of people who are dissatisfied with the length of Sunday services, and some people are seriously contemplating leaving our church because of this. Needless to say, these issues cause me great concern, and I thought that I might compile my thoughts as to why.

However, they will probably come as a series of as non-disjointed as possible posts as opposed to one big block of text that will bore the pants off people. My aim is by no means to publicly criticise and judge those who are harbouring these contemplations, but to consider the role of the Sunday gathering of Christian brothers and sisters in a believer’s life, and how it should be incorporated into the whole day. I somehow doubt that those people (whose identities I am totally unaware of) would be readers of my blog, but nevertheless I have no desire to assume who they are and in my mind judge them to be poor followers of Christ.

It is a topic that really frustrates me, not because I am one of these people, but because I see such uncertainty as a genuine threat to church unity, stability and fellowship. My hope is that as I express the thoughts that are in my mind, I would be faithful and diligent in recognising the importance of church fellowship, and that those who may see fit to comment would do so in a manner that allows them to freely express their views, but not uphold them as the be all and end all.

Hence I say that whatever I bring forth as a result of my thoughts on the topic are merely my own opinions, which I believe have been formed by my understanding of Scripture and my experiences of Christian community, particularly on a Sunday morning or night at the 2 churches of which I have been an active member in my life (St Stephens’ Anglican, Penrith and St Thomas’ Anglican, Cranebrook). Seldom have these experiences been negative ones, but where I deem it appropriate to cite these sorts of experiences, be assured that I do so with the objective of advancing an honest and thoughtful analysis of where the church is at in terms of facilitating corporate gatherings. You don’t have to agree with me, but hopefully what I do say is consistent with the supreme authority of Scripture.

Finally, the title…the way I see it initially, the human mind does a reasonable (in terms of quantity, not quality) job in forming our expectiations of church services and how they should be run. Hence subjectivity is bound to be prevalent as we form these expectations. I pray that the Lord will help me to be as objective as possible as I go about this, and that I would seek to use discernment in knowing what to say and what not to say.

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4 Responses

  1. Mate, I get hammered here if my sermon goes over 20 minutes!

    And the night service is planned out to the minute, and if it goes over 1 hour, people start to walk out….

    Its good though

  2. Brave post. And it needs to be raised.

    I don’t know what THE answer is.

    When I was a teenager, we had one hour sermons. And lots of songs sung over again. I remember for one year we had one hour sermons on Romans Chapter 8. No-one walked out and the church was always packed.

    However I empathise with people running creche or Children’s Church on such days. And stressed-out people with little kids who end up with half of Sunday to rest and get ready for work the next day. And the Minister who spends days preparing the sermons.

    Dunno the answer but we do need to be so patient with each other and really exercise grace.

  3. me and my wife when to a church last year where sermon went for 1hr before that they had bible talk that went for 40 min and the service went for 4hrs

  4. […] psychology of Sunday: what we get up to Posted on 5 June, 2008 by Kristian As I said in my preface, I’ve entitled my series of reflections “The psychology of Sunday” because of what I perceive […]

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