Is it still a church service if you take a field trip?

Every once in a while, church needs to be different. Today at Sanctuary Church, it was definitely that. It was our week to focus on sharing God's love outside the church walls, and we hauled off and took a field trip. We met for a few minutes at our usual location in Natomas, and then we moved everyone to Ninos Park, a low-income neighborhood where the GreenHouse Christian Community Center is. The GreenHouse was launched out of Sanctuary, and Sanctuary continues to be heavily involved at the GreenHouse. I think it was a touching service. At the Park, we split up into six groups and went to different places around the neighborhood to pray.

I must say, doing church like this for a Sunday both energized and worried me. I was energized because I love getting out and "being there." Why just talk about mission when you can go there and do it?

I was worried because I wonder what people think when church is that far out of the ordinary. Meet at your building for a half hour and then relocate to pray? A minimal sermon, minimal worship band, and no children's program. It pushes the envelope of what we consider normal and desirable in a church service. In fact, I would guess that for some people, that wasn't really a church service... which, in turn, raises the question of what a church service is. To me, that was exactly the sort of thing we need to do -- not every week but sometimes. However, I also know not everyone sees it that way. And that's okay. We'll be back in the building next Sunday... probably. :-)


  1. Way to go Pastor! I love that sort of thing. When Jesus gave us the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 He says "...Go into all the world..." literally it suggests "as you are going" so I love that you left the building. The Church s a community of believers. I suspect your congregation will be strengthened by what you did and why not be the church in your surrounding neighborhoods unto the ends of the earth... "as you are going..."


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