Why do most people rarely live in the living room or dine in the dining room? When I was growing up most living and dining was done in the kitchen. The kitchen was where the family gathered for meals and conversation, arguments and important life lessons. The kitchen was where food was prepared and small talk became stories that became our family history. In other words, the kitchen was where relationships dwelt.
This was true as Diane and I formed our family and it’s true with our church family too. Most families, I suspect, relate best where work is done and conversation abounds. This is typically in the kitchen. Kitchens are usually informal and conducive to intimacy.
People usually relate to the work and words of the church through small groups. They may be in a Bible study, team meeting, gather for a meal, a discipleship class or impromptu conversation in the parking lot, but these are typical conduits for community. More relationship-building takes place outside the worship setting than in it. There, I said it and for a guy who spends a big part of each week preparing for worship to admit that it is not central to strengthening relationships is like a librarian admitting most learning doesn’t take place among the stacks of books. As important as the sanctuary is to adoration and libraries to education neither is built primarily for human connection. “Worship in its broadest sense is a meeting between God and His people.” (Webber, Robert E. Worship Old & New, Zondervan 1982, p 16) Worship also flows out of the strength or weakness of human relationships. Have you ever known a divided church to experience spiritual renewal? Worship is a reflection of our love for the Lord and one another. We cannot honestly reverence Jesus in the sanctuary while rebuffing other believers in the halls of the church. We don’t truly love Him if we ignore opportunities to serve Him. (1 John 1:6, 7)
So what’s your point pastor? Simply, it is time some get out of the living and dining room to come into the kitchen. It is time all of us heed the wisdom of Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” If Sunday morning is your only time of interaction with God’s people then I invite you to get in a small group, ministry or on a team. Your worship will be revolutionized!