JD Greear is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and the pastor of The Summit Church, a nine campus church based in North Carolina. This Sunday, his church won’t be meeting. Greear has encouraged his congregation to worship at home.
— J.D. Greear (@jdgreear) December 28, 2018
The Sundays before and after Christmas are typically low attendance Sundays at any given church. This is mostly due to the holiday travel schedules of congregants, who are often out of town visiting family (or hosting family from out of town). The army of volunteers (childcare workers, parking lot attendants, security volunteers, Sunday School teachers, greeters, etc..) necessary for a megachurch to “put on its face” can’t be counted on to work on the Sundays closest to Christmas. Should this be a reason to cancel worship on the Lord’s Day?
Absolutely not, but lack of labor and customers is a good reason to close a business. Such holiday shutdowns, which are typical among megachurches and factories alike, demonstrate very clearly the nature of megachurches like Summit – they are businesses. How tragic it is that a church of the Lord Jesus Christ would shut its doors on any given Sunday, especially one that offers family members who live in different towns the opportunity to worship together! That the Summit Church knows its people and their families generally won’t show up on the Sunday after Christmas says a lot about the health of that body and the pastoral leadership of the president of America’s largest protestant denomination.
Personally, I plan to attend church this Sunday. The church which I regularly attend will not have childcare for children under 2 but will meet in a family integrated service. It will be a little different than usual – a few songs and a short Bible reading, but it will be a gathering of the Lord’s people on the Lord’s Day…and that is something that should never be canceled due to lack of interest.
It’s worth noting that the web page at the Summit Church which announces the cancellation of services, reminds church members that they “can make a tax-deductible year-end gift at summitrdu.com/give before midnight, Dec. 31, or mail it to The Summit Church (address below), postmarked by Dec. 31.”
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.