Remove the Queen

What would happen if churches would remove the Queen?
Many people love to play chess. I’m not much of a chess player although I enjoy playing.

Typically, I overuse the Queen. Because the Queen is so versatile, my objective is usually to get the Queen out there and then use the Queen as much as I can to take out my opponent’s pieces.

A few years ago, someone told me that if I wanted to be a more effective chess player, I needed to learn to use the other pieces on the chess board and that I should surrender the Queen at the beginning of the game and remove it from the board. This would force me to learn to utilize the remaining pieces. Then, after learning to win without the Queen, I could add the Queen back to the board and I’d be a better chess player utilizing all the pieces.

Many churches overuse the Queen.
What is the Queen? Too often the “Queen” is the Sunday morning worship service. Churches tend to use the Sunday service to try to accomplish everything – worship, teaching, evangelism, discipleship, fellowship. What if we could change that? Most churches won’t consider canceling Sunday services to learn how to be the church 24/7. I understand that. But why not take the time to consider how you would function as a church if you no longer had Sunday worship services. How would you “be the church” if you couldn’t simply “do church” by worshiping together on Sunday morning?

And if you are a church planter, you are in a unique situation. Before you start Sunday services, you can learn how to utilize the “other pieces” and to be the church all week long. Then, when you start Sunday services in the future, you’ll be more effective because you’re not dependent on the Queen (Sunday worship) to accomplish everything.

Stop and Think: How could you start being the church and not be dependent on “doing church” on Sundays?


Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
6 replies
  1. Pen
    Pen says:

    Good word brother, thanks. In a church planting context I think this has some important implications. As churches are started they can start with being the church "24/7" as you say, without starting with Sunday morning corporate worship. What would this look like?

  2. carlou2
    carlou2 says:

    The first time I heard you say this, it was a totally new idea for me, yet so true. The church can overuse Sunday morning worship while maybe neglecting other "pieces" or areas that a church can truly function well in. It's an interesting idea, and I would be very interested in what happens to the church that decides to actually do this.

  3. Rick Judd
    Rick Judd says:

    My senior year in youth group in high school we actually stopped meeting on Sunday nights and started to meet at football games and other community things to be there not so much as a 'youth group' but with more of a mentality of meeting people outside of the 'church' setting.

  4. bear-dew330
    bear-dew330 says:

    Start being and stop doing. When you said that in class it hit he. I like most get caught in the flow of church whatever day it falls on. It's so easy to to get caught up in that flow and forget doing church outside of the building you gather at. Removing the queen is a great concept I love that one small thing makes the whole idea different.

  5. davitagruber
    davitagruber says:

    When you mentioned this in class I was shocked, because church has always been something that I am. Going to the sactuary every Sunday was something that I've always done and I've always been involved with the church community. So, saying that stopping for a while so you can learn to use the other pieces, seemed radical. But when I think about it, if we are not useing doing the other things than we are not growing.

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