I frequently take laps around the church to spur the ol’ creative juices. During one of my jaunts this week, I overheard this conversation in one of the preschool rooms:

Mom A: “When my son was little, he picked up a rock and shoved it right up his nose.”

 Mom B (in an unsurprised tone, as if this kind of thing happens all the time): “Huh… how did you get it out?”

 Mom A (likewise, in a perfectly flat and unexcited tone, like she was talking about relative humidity): “My husband sucked it out with his Shop Vac.”

I’m always on the lookout for a funny story and finding this anecdote was akin to McClure’s discovery of the Northwest Passage. Pure gold.

Like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, there are hundreds of follow-up options with an opener like this one.

For example, I could write about discipleship (we teach that which has been revealed to us or what we have learned by experience).

Or, since Easter is right around the corner, I could write about the gift of salvation (Jesus sucks the sin right out of your life – a special thanks to Bridgette Pittman for that pearl of wisdom and wit!).

Instead, being a practical fellow, I’ll choose practicality. Just like Mom A’s resourceful husband saved a few hours and several hundred dollars by performing non-invasive surgery on his toddler with a garage tool (ed. note: this is not recommended), we gravitate toward and benefit from things that are most practical.

That’s why The Church @ Clayton Crossings offers a worship service at 9:00 on Sunday mornings. Consider with me, dear reader, the following practical reasons why attending an earlier worship service makes good practical sense:

  1. An earlier service is not as early as you think. I don’t know many people who report to work later than 9:00am during the week. Lisa and I usually wake up at 6:00 and are out of the house by 7:30 every weekday morning. Even with my job I still get to sleep in on Sunday mornings!
  2. An earlier service is better for families with young children. Back in the toddler years, Bryan and/or Emma would frequently enter into meltdown mode every afternoon by 12:30, which was right about the time we’d walk into a restaurant to have lunch after church on Sunday. An earlier start to the lunchtime festivities (even if you’re eating at home) means everyone makes it to nap time without experiencing a DEFCON 1 incident.
  3. An earlier service is better for families with older children. You’ll have time to experience worship and still have your kids to the soccer field or baseball field on time.
  4. An earlier service is better for people who work on Sunday (or late Saturday night). We have some folks who come to church after they’ve been working all night–an earlier service allows them to experience time with God while getting to bed a little earlier. Also, people who work on Sunday afternoon or evening can maximize time with family and friends after getting out of church earlier than usual.
  5. An earlier service offers more empty chairs during the 10:30am service. Most new people will attend the later service. Why? I have no idea, but it’s been proven at C@CC and almost every other church in North America. Since we’re called to live like missionaries, vacating a seat for someone who does not yet know Jesus seems like an easy sacrifice to make.

I’m curious to know other reasons why an early service may be more convenient or intentional for you. Please comment below…

See you this Sunday at 9:00!

What we’re doing:

Picnic in the Park(ing lot) – April 30. This “hang out” event will take place immediately following our 10:30 service, right here in our very own parking lot!  The church will provide all the food and entertainment, as well as fun stuff for the kids! We’ll eat, play, relax, make some new friends, and enjoy the warmer weather. Bring a lawn chair and come hang out with us.

What I’m reading:

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi

What I’m listening to:

“All the Poor and Powerless” by The Digital Age

About me:

John Sanders is the non-stuffy pastor at The Church at Clayton Crossings. His primary mission is to help people find and follow Jesus. Additionally, he longs to write like the child of Aaron Sorkin and Dave Barry, preach like W.A. Criswell, look like Bradley Cooper, and eat like he’s seventeen years old. A more complete (and less snarky) bio can be found here.

Let’s be friends:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jtsandersiii
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jtsanders3