Does Canceling One Sunday Service Count as Missional?


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?

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  • Nick Larson

    I’ve wondered about these too. Part of me is pulled to agree with the concept. I like that churches are asking their members to get off their butts and get out and serve. The real problem can be in terms of what constitutes “helping” or “serving.” Are they sustainable projects? Do they take jobs away from others in the area that need to do labor jobs? Do they provide any ongoing support to these ministries areas on the other Sundays and throughout the weeks?

    Part of me feel this is really more flash than substance. More get your free tshirt and go out and take pictures with your friends while you pick up trash on the side of the highway, than encounter someone different from you, and learn to see that they are Christ, and your blessed to be able to serve them.