This was an email I got back from Rev. Wade Rogers. We have been disgussing the book Revolutionary, by George Barna. It is an insightful book that demonstrates much trouble with today’s Church.
There was a lot I liked in Revolution but I totally disagree with his premise that you can be missional and absent from the local church. And my reasons are biblical (imagine that!). First of all, Jesus set the standard: “He [Jesus]?went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom”. Luke 4:16 It was Jesus’ custom to attend the synagogue service every Sabbath. If Jesus practiced this, He must have thought it was important. Second, Church attendance is a profitable habit, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching”. Hebrews 10:24-25 It sounds to me like the writer of Hebrews was addressing this to some “revolutionaries” in his day. I tell my people all the time that their very presence at the worship service is an encouragement to thier brothers and sisters in Christ. It reminds us that we are not alone and there are people of like mindedness who share our values and faith in Christ. Third, the first day of the week has a multi-faceted significance in Scripture.>>Jesus rose on the first day of the week. (Luke 24:1) Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room on the first day of the week (as they were “gathered together”). (John 20:19)>Paul spoke to a gathering of believers on the first day of the week. (Acts 20:7) Paul? instructed the believers to set aside a portion of thier income on (you guessed it) the first day of the week. (1 Corinthians 16:2) Fourth, we cannot forget the issues of mutual accountablity, integrity, and service. “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector”. Matthew 18:17 Fifth, Paul’s mission in life was to plant churches where he met with them regularly for teaching and instruction. Was he not a revolutionary? “So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch”. Acts 11:26 I could go on and on, but? here’s the? thing. The Church was God’s idea, not man’s. Yes, some of the structures of church today are man-made, but the ideas of meeting together regularly for mutual encouragement, worship?and accountability are God’s plan for His Church.