‘church attendance’ is Googled 22,200 times per month.
There are 52, sometimes 53 Sundays in a year. Assuming our average church service lasts one hour (for purposes of simple math), this means the regular church-goer spends around 52 hours per year in the sanctuary. Just for the fun of it, (in honor of long-winded preachers) let’s round 52 up to 100. That means, per year, we spend 100 out of 8,765 hours, doing church. Sure, one-hundred hours of sanctuary time per year is not that much in comparison to the time we’re given in all. But we can draw a sure conclusions about the pressures and pleasures associated with spending such a concentrated amount of time in God’s house.
First, expectations are high and low. We’ve spent 167 hours in the past week doing other “stuff” that may have resulted in feelings of discomfort and stress; so the weekly church service often serves as a quick dose of regimen and familiarity: our expectations are low. But sometimes, we intuitively know that what we really need are unexpected encounters with God or Spirit filled worship that makes us squirm in our seats: expectations are high. So with only one hour this week for corporal worship, stepping outside of our natural habitat–what do we do with the time God has given us? The challenge is to strike a balance between tradition that cultivates comfort and change that opens the door for God to work in unexpected ways.