For two weeks around Christmas our office is closed and we do not have any gatherings. We do this for a few reasons:
- To give the leaders in our church family a break. It takes a huge group of people to pull off two campuses and 5 gatherings each and every Sunday. From Host teams to production teams to Kidtown workers, there are hundreds of man hours involved on a weekly basis. We want these volunteers to continue to see their service as a blessing and not a burden, and sometimes a break is very helpful in that regard.
- To allow pastors and staff to rest. Dropout rates amongst pastors are startlingly high due to the weight and constant pressure they experience. A pastor’s job is never done because people are never done, and there are always more people who need Jesus. Being a pastor is as much a way of life as it is a job, and there are always things to be thinking about, people to be praying for, things to study, and opportunities to research. Having a couple of weeks off gives our pastors time to attempt to only think about enjoying time with their families and friends as they celebrate the incarnation of Jesus. We hope to see our current pastors continue being pastors for the next 30 years, and if a short break is helpful then we are delighted to do so.
- To remind us all that church is not a once a week gathering, but rather a community of people unified around Christ and his mission. One of the great failures of the church in America is that we have reduced our idea of ‘church’ to an event we attend. In our experience oriented culture there is no shortage of consumer Christians who are simply looking for the best ‘worship experience’ to call their church. We hope to consistently push against this, and this is one particular way that has proven helpful. Even when we do not gather, we are the covenant people of God committed to the mission of God. Our gatherings do not define us or make us, Jesus does. We hope you enjoy Christmas by taking some time to meditate on Jesus’ holy, missional, and sacrificial birth which lead to His holy, missional, and sacrificial death on the cross to atone for our sins. Please use these weeks to drink some eggnog, worship Jesus, and leverage time with your friends and family to be the church and push back darkness in Columbia (or wherever your travels take you).