Benson Chapel UMC in Covington, Ind., held its first "Don't Go to church" Sunday on June 8.
For three weeks Pastor David Barnett announced Benson Chapel would not GO to church, but would BE the Church. On Sunday morning June 8, 89 members and friends gathered in the sanctuary wearing jeans, boots and straw hats. They sang a few praise songs and went into the community to share Christ's love with fellow residents through acts of kindness.
One group repaired the front access to a family's mobile home, including replacing the front door with a steel entry door and rebuilding the entry deck. The family had boarded up the front access, eliminating a vital means of exit in case of fire. While visiting with the family of eleven, workers learned that the family had no running water. Benson Chapel continues to reach out to them.
Two other groups worked in the yards of older adults who are not able to care for their yards. They mowed, trimmed, weeded and planted.
A third group remained at the church, providing lunch for those working at the remote sites. At one o'clock everyone gathered back at Benson Chapel for fellowship and shared what they had experienced. Several workers including youth returned to finish yard work. That evening the youth fellowship discussed how they could be the hands and feet of Christ.
Barnett told Together, "This was not my idea. I had read about the concept of 'Don't Go to Church' several months back and thought it was pretty cool. Some of the lay leaders and I had been talking about it, and it just sort of took off from there. This is what church needs to be - answering the question posed by Casting Crowns - 'If we are the body, why aren't His hands reaching?' In other words, don't GO to church, BE the Church."