A church body is at its best when its members are gathered and invested in sharing Jesus and sharing lives with each other. That’s best done when we forget the clock, forget being slaves to time and focus on being what Jesus had called us to be—disciple making disciples.
In the majority of cases when people spend time with their family they’re not keeping an eye on the clock. When we’re doing things that we enjoy we’re not making sure that we’re keeping to a strict end time so that we can leave. When we’re in the coming of family and when we’re doing things that we enjoy, we let time go by without much thought. But in a lot of UK church contexts that isn’t the case.
When it comes to many churches in the UK we’re slaves to the clock. There are reasons that we like to stick to time (kid’s groups, etc.), but are we missing something?
I was speaking with a brother the other day who originally comes from Kenya and hearing how services in his town would often go on for 3 hours, there would also be long times of fellowship before and after the service. He spoke fondly of the sense of community and love that it created for him and his church family. There remains, in that context, an understanding that the Lord’s Day is the Lord’s day, rather than the Lord’s Hour and a quarter.