by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Getting a Grip on Worship (6 of 7)
Series: Strengthening Your Grip
Roger Thomas
John 4:19-26

Introduction: Aren't you glad you are in church today? I'll bet you're glad you're here and not in church with the pilgrims. I came across an interesting description of church services in Jamestown, VA, that first permanent English-speaking settlement in America. The colony was founded almost four hundred years ago. Jamestown was where the well-known story of John Smith and Pocahontas happened. Our kids learn about these names in their lessons on the first Thanksgiving.

The hundred or so colonists who first settled at Jamestown built small huts for their family homes. Yet right in the middle of the village, they erected an imposing church building. The settlers wanted everyone to know that church was important to them.

It was important! The Jamestown settlers had worship services every day of the week. Two-hour worship services! Attendance was mandatory. If you didn't show up for the service, your day's ration of food would not be given you. Their reasoning was, if you were too sick to go to church, you were too sick to eat. Works for me!

On Sunday, they really had church. For five hours! Not five different service times, five hours of service! You were expected to be there all five. People stayed awake, too. You would have, too! Special ushers were equipped with long poles. One end was fitted with a brass knob and the other a feather. If a lady dozed off, the feather would tickle her awake. If a guy fell asleep, he was bonked on the noggin' with the other end. If you missed church for three weeks without a good reason, you would be put in stocks on the church lawn. Needless to say, attendance was pretty consistent.

That's probably a little bit over the top for most of us. We have been trained to view a church service like fast food. In, out, get what you want and go home. But what's strange to us was normal for them Our approach might ...

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