i had some great discussion this past sunday night with some of our college students. their insights into scripture are profound. their pursuit of truth is admirable. their love of north point is obvious. their desire to have an honest and life-changing connection with god is what keeps them coming. they are a really good group.
in our discussion, we beat around the topic of worship service times on sunday mornings. we've been trying, for months, to grow our 9:00 service (another post...another day), but we are not quite "there" yet. one possible solution would be to have an entire group...like the college group...make a commitment to that service and help it grow. the problem is there is no way, no how, not in my lifetime or yours, that our college group would make the decision to come at 9:00 on a regular basis. but not for the reasons you might think...
it is true that most of them stay out too late on saturday nights. many of them don't have mama to wake them up in the morning anymore. a lot of them probably get up early every day of the week to go to work or classes...and the thought of losing a "sleep in" day doesn't sound too appetizing. but those are not the reasons why they don't want to come at 9:00.
the best part of sunday mornings for our college students is not the sermon. hard to believe, but it's not. (i'm over it.) it's not the opportunity for communion...nor is it the nifty music we play as we worship. the new padded chairs are sweet and really comfortable, but they aren't the best part. no...the best part of sunday mornings for our college group is when it's over.
as soon as the service ends, our college young people go right back to doing what they were doing when the service started. enjoying each other. talking...laughing...poking fun...comparing notes about their weeks and school work and jobs and music and fantasy sports and relationships and pretty much anything else that comes to mind.
if you watch them, they take over the room. their relationships spill over. most weeks they have to be kicked out of the auditorium, so they begin to slowly file out and continue the fun at their restaurant of choice.
the reason they won't come to 9:00? they couldn't hang out afterwards. they would get a sermon and sing songs and pray and take communion and experience all of the other components of the service. but it just wouldn't be the same. and it's ok with me.