Why We Won't Cancel Worship

The Bluegrass has been transformed into a winter wasteland. The roads are in terrible condition, and the temperatures are dipping below zero. Also, we will be having church tomorrow.

TCPC’s weather policy is very simple; the doors will always be open on Sunday morning. Every activity that takes place at our church is subject to cancelation except worship.This is a long-standing policy at TCPC, and every winter we get questions about it. So allow me to explain.

Are we just trying to prove a point? Absolutely. There is an element of well-intended bravado to our policy. I guarantee that the UK basketball game will not be cancelled today. Certainly our malls will be open. You can tell what a culture values by what it refuses to cancel. We truly believe that what we do on Sunday morning matters; it matters more than anything else we do, so we refuse to cancel.

But there is more to our policy than mere protest, and it is rooted in our theology of worship.

At TCPC we believe that the primary audience of corporate worship is God not man. Certainly worship is good for man, but above all else, Sunday morning is the ordained time for God’s people to gather together and offer up their praises to God.

If worship were solely about the experience of our people, then yes, we should probably take tomorrow off. After all, it truly may not be good for people to brave these conditions. But if the primary purpose of worship is not the good of people but the glory of God, then that changes the way we view the decision to cancel. God is on His throne tomorrow so our doors will be open to those who are able to assemble and praise His name.

This is why our brothers and sisters in persecuted lands risk imprisonment and death to gather together for worship. Believe me, it would be easier for them not to do church, or to do worship individually in their homes. But that’s simply not an option. They continue to gather together for corporate worship because they believe God is worth it.

As an aside, I also believe this is a good opportunity to honor our persecuted brethren by enduring whatever tiny bit of adversity it takes for us to get to church.

With that said, we want to guard against self-righteous pride in this. Lord knows that TCPC has way too many shortcomings to ever think we are better because we choose not to cancel while other churches, for their own good reasons, choose to cancel. If you subscribe to the delusional view that our church is better, please come see me so I can share with you the long list of our failures.

I also don’t intend to bind our member’s conscience and burden them with guilt. God won’t think less of you if you can’t make it tomorrow.

With that said, the call to worship will go forth at TCPC again tomorrow, and we invite you to join us to answer this holy call.

Rev. Robert Cunningham