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  • Writer's pictureSvetlana Papazov

Church for Monday

Updated: Sep 13, 2019

Church for Monday

An excerpt from the book “Church for Monday” by Svetlana Papazov

Let’s Talk About it

What does the future of the church look like? This is the question that will be discussed for at least the next decade. With it, we must also ask, how can we be a faithful church that prepares God’s people for the majority of their lives that is led on Monday not Sunday? Said another way, in what ways can the church navigate the complexities of our current culture and regain a seat in the public arena? Finally, can we invite the Holy Spirit to stir our imagination to envision a path forward?

We all know that things are changing, but the question is how fast and how furious. It is a fact, not fear-mongering, to say that when a crisis hits, people rarely look to the church for guidance. We live in turbulent times where crime, divisiveness, and chaos seem to be the norm, and peaceful, united, and respectful discourse is a wistful memory of the past. In addition, the church in the West is suffering from a damaged public image and it finds itself ousted as the moral herald. It sits on the margins of society. Now is the time to practice public faith so as to regain relevance. But how will we do it?

Church for Monday

Churches for Monday enter the marketplace to innovate and practice public faith as both a gathered and scattered community. They prepare believers to partner with God in His mission, not only abroad, but also in their own backyard, even if they live in developed economies.

A church that equips for Monday fosters the creative streak placed in every image bearer and seeks sustainable ways to flourish the communities spiritually, socially, and economically. It translates the gospel for the postmodern world, develops whole-life disciples, and strategically embeds itself in the marketplace to grow the economy (Jer. 29:7).

A Model for the Future

As we know, the week has 168 hours. People spend on average only one hour at church on Sunday morning. What about the other 167 hours spent primarily at work, but also at home, and at play in a world quite intolerant of Christians, embracing other truths but opposing the truth of the Bible, enamored with narratives but rejecting the narrative of Jesus? What type of church prepares for that type of world?

The waning state of faith in young adults, the decreased attendance and weakened generosity trends, and a growing desire for person-to-person, high-touch interaction amidst high-tech connections, all point to a significant decline in both church attendance and tithes and offerings. Church, as it has been, will require re-envisioning. If Jesus tarries, what type of church will thrive, not just survive, in the following decades?

I believe the future church will be gospel-translating, experience-based, and Spirit-evident, with small congregations that grow from conversions, not church transfers. Its clergy will likely be co-vocational and willing to equip believers for their lives on Monday. It will be embedded in the marketplace, dually-using their facilities for the flourishing of the community and for their own sustainability.

The community will know the church because the church will be a part of the community–not above it, beside it, or beyond it. If anyone thinks to ask the trite question, “Will you miss the church on the corner if it closes its doors?” people will say, “Yes. I will miss that church because it trains us for meaningful work, guides us in starting new businesses, helps us make wise decisions, teaches us creative entrepreneurship, and equips us for loving parenting without insisting we first believe.”

Sadly, this is rarely the answer we hear. Yet most pastors I know work long hours with little pay to make that kind of a big difference in their broken communities. So the question is not if pastors desire a marketplace impact but how to lead churches that make a lasting impact not only on weekends but on weekdays, too. How do we go there from here?

Three Main Components of the Church for Monday

An increasing number of churches are thinking creatively and preparing strategically for mission on Monday as they develop both compassion and capacity to flourish their communities. So, what does Church for Monday look like? Is intentionally integrated faith into work, economics, and entrepreneurship expressed in the same way across the local churches in our country? The answer is that Churches for Monday are as varied as the richness of their theological premises and the unique contexts they serve, but they all have three key elements: gospel-translating, whole-life discipling, and embedding into the economy. It will serve us well if we all remember this: we are saved through a Person, not a program. So, when we look at what we are facilitating through a Church for Monday model, it is not another program but finding creative ways we can use to form authentic communities where both the unchurched and the churched can enter and deepen a transforming relationship with Jesus—the Person.

An excerpt from the book “Church for Monday” by Svetlana Papazov

You can order an advance copy before the release date: ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY

Dr. Svetlana Papazov is a thought leader, author, professional speaker, and senior pastor. She is the founder of Real Life Church and Real Life Entrepreneurial Center, a first of its kind model of church and business incubator that connects faith and entrepreneurship. Her new book “Church for Monday” (September 2019) talks about the Church that equips believers for work on Monday and fosters the creative streak placed in every one of us from God, practices corporate public faith by uniting worship on Sunday with the mission on Monday.

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