I’m thinking of starting a movement to use the word “team” instead of “church” in order to boost commitment to the latter.
Almost every kid I know who plays on a team has been taught by parents and coaches that once you commit to a team, nothing (short of extreme illness or injury) should keep you from making it to practice or a game/match. Because if you’re not there, you’re letting down your team.
Imagine if we taught our children the same thing about church…because it’s true. When people don’t show up, if affects the entire community. A committed Christian community (aka church) doesn’t work unless its members (team) are committed to being a part of that community.
And what if fans (members) were as committed to their Christian team as they are to their beloved sports ball teams? What if the idea of missing a service was as unthinkable as missing the kickoff/tipoff/first pitch of their favorite team’s next game? I’d even be willing for people to yell at me and the worship leaders when they don’t like a call we’ve made (or a song we’ve led or a prayer we’ve said) if it meant they’d be there on a consistent basis.
My own community has recently lost some folks, not because they don’t love us or because they don’t feel loved, but because they have an understandable desire to raise their children in a Christian community where the same people show up week after week. A church where their children have a consistent community of peers and mentors and friends to encourage them along their journey with Christ.
Perhaps we’ve not been teaching the right things. Perhaps our expectations have not been expressed clearly. Perhaps we’re just using the wrong words.
Team Presby Argenta has a nice ring to it. Maybe it could work.