As the government shutdown continues, I wondered today what would happen if there was a church shutdown. Furloughed workers, closed parks and postponed paychecks have already affected Americans. How would a church shutdown affect us?
I'm not entirely sure what would cause a church shutdown. A budget impasse at the annual voters meeting? A carefully engineered lay-revolt against clergy-driven programs and projects? What effect would a 21-hour sermon would have a positive or negative effect on the congregants?
There's an upside. It would free up your Sunday morning for sleep, breakfast,, chores or “Face the Nation.” You'd keep a few extra dollars in your pocket. You could stay out later on Saturday night.
There would be some challenges, of course. A big backlog on baptisms, weddings and funerals. Furloughed donut shop and church supply house workers. Delayed missionary paychecks and postponed counseling sessions.
Unfortunately, many would not even notice a shutdown or the absence of the church. It's never been a significant part of their lives, so they really wouldn't miss it.
Amazingly the church is one thing that will never shutdown. It's endured war, persecution, natural disaster and the assaults of the devil himself. And it has survived. Built on a simple confession of faith, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, it is amazingly resilient. Shut it down, and before you know it, there's been a resurrection and it comes back to life.
For that very reason, there will never be a church shutdown.