Dan Williams tells the story of two preachers who were visiting over a cup of coffee. The first preacher said to the second, “I cancelled our Sunday night services about five months ago.” “You did?” the second preacher replied, “What do your church members think?” The first preacher said, “I suspect they’ll be pretty upset if they ever find out about it.”
The meeting times for worship, study, and edification are not meant to be arbitrary requirements that test the spiritual discipline and commitment level of Christians. Rather, these opportunities are intended to be functional; to encourage, inform, and strengthen those who are trying to walk worthily in an ungodly world.
Why is it that some people will say with exasperation, “Oh no, we have church services tonight, and I’ve had such a bad week,” instead of saying, “Wow I’m thankful it’s Wednesday night and we have church services tonight because I’ve had a bad week?”
The difference in the two is the difference between “form” and “function.” If one views church services simply as a “form” that must be checked off our “to-do list,” he will see that assembly differently than the one who acknowledges the “function” and purpose of the assembly.
Maybe church members need to re-evaluate the way they view these assemblies; and see them not as an arbitrary requirement, but as an opportunity. And maybe church leaders need to re-evaluate function of these assemblies to insure that the assemblies fulfill their intended purpose.