Spectating or Participating: The Sunday Morning Experience

By Arthur Lin
Director of Worship
New City Church, Macon

Recently I’ve been pondering this question for our Sunday morning gatherings.

“Do I come to just spectate or do I participate?” 

Like with anything since the fall, there is always the temptation in our hearts to turn something good into something bad. Food for instance! I love food and know that it is a VERY good gift from God. He gave us numerous tastebuds to experience complex and delicious flavors. He gave us brains to figure out how to make something taste good. Let’s not forget that we ourselves run on food. Food is a very good thing. Yet, it is easy to turn that gift into what it was not meant to be. It’s easy to chase after flavors, to attempt to make the ultimate meal, to find the best thing to eat. It can easily become my idol. It can easily consume me (Ironic huh?). 

I think this can be said with our Sunday church gatherings. God has commanded His people to gather. (Heb. 10:24-25, Col. 3:16) Gathering the church is a good, good thing.

Like with food and other things, our hearts can easily turn our Sunday gatherings into something it was never meant to be.

In my past experience with different churches and where my heart was (and is still tempted today), Sunday mornings can easily become a spectator sport. Get on your Sunday best. Put on a smile. When others ask how you are you reply with a positive scripted affirmation. You sing softly, listening to others and the band sing, concerned how others will judge you. You sit and listen and then go home to do it all over again next Sunday. We can easily become spectators or bystanders. 

I wanted to use this blog to remind us that Sunday gatherings are SO much more than that!!

They’re an opportunity to participate as a family in the remembering of the good news! As we gather with brothers and sisters in Christ, we remember the peace that Christ has brought us. We serve in various ministries because Christ has humbly served us. We sing because Christ has done a marvelous, magnificent thing for us in His life, death, and resurrection. We confess our sins and our faith because we know we are not perfect and are in desperate need of Him. We receive God’s word because He is Lord and Creator. We pray because we know our Lord hears us and is with us. Ultimately we’re reminded of the grace, truth, and mercy God has shown us. Our gatherings are a beautiful gift of grace that God invites us into. 

As we participate, these practices on Sunday mornings in turn form us and prepare us to go into our normal rhythms of life as a family of missionary servants, loving and serving those around us and sharing the good news of Jesus with them! So, come prepared on Sunday morning to engage and participate! 

Published June 1, 2022