This may be a step in the right direction, or it might just be an inoculation from experiencing a real missional shift in a congregation: The latest megachurch to cancel a Sunday service to go out and serve its community is the 3,000-member Experience Life Church in Lubbock, Texas.
The megachurch is participating today in what’s called Servolution, started by Louisiana-based megachurch pastor Dino Rizzo, or what they’re calling “For The City”: “Instead of just GOING to church, we will go out and BE the church!”
I admit, it takes some courage to take a Sunday “off” from the regular corporate worship gathering, because of the tithes and offerings that normally come in through that event. But I wonder if, as more and more parishioners give via electronic funds transfer and auto-draft (automatic deposit), the passing of the offering plate may be becoming less and less crucial to churches’ financial sustainability week-to-week, especially for megachurches.
I have to confess to being skeptical about these one-off church “community service” events that may help you be missional for a day, because I don’t see how this translates into a sustainable participation in God’s mission Monday through Saturday. And the last line of this local news report just sealed the deal for me: “Experience Life won’t be here [at a local roller rink] much longer. They say they’ve collected enough tithing to build their own sanctuary now.”
What are your thoughts on Servolution and one-off community service events like it? Does this count as missional?