02.02.2018 | by Patrick Voelker, Executive Administrator
The church has left the building. Really? Where did it go? And what is it doing? More importantly, I thought the church was the building. Isn’t that why we say, “we’re going to church.” Doesn’t that mean it’s all about a location?
I must be messed up if the church has left the building! Or is it about something else. Maybe the church isn’t the building or a location. Long, long, ago…..sorry that sounds like the beginning of a movie; actually in the early 1900’s a hymn was written called We Are the Church. Part of it goes like this:
I am the church! You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
all around the world!
Yes, we’re the church together!
The church is not a building;
the church is not a steeple;
the church is not a resting place;
the church is a people.
This hymn shows us that the church is always leaving the building, because the church is the people, not the building. More importantly, it shows that everyone who follows Jesus, everywhere, is the church. And Jesus has called us to be His people, on the move, impacting the world.
The line from the hymn, “the church is not a resting place;” is a great phrase. We don’t gather together to rest, to be comfortable, to socialize, to sit on our hands! No, we gather to be energized, to be encouraged and to encourage. To praise and worship Jesus and God the Father. In other words, we gather together to: Discover Jesus, Connect to Others, Serve the Community, and Give Financially. That is simply putting words to Jesus’ commands to us as the church.
When the church leaves the building, what are we doing? Hopefully, we are living as Jesus calls us to live. Talking to others about Jesus. Inviting them to join us, the church, on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s. We are going out and gathering in Small Groups, connecting. We are serving both the church and our communities. Most important, all of this is to fulfill what Jesus asks of all of us, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
So, if we follow Jesus, if we are the church, we must leave the building. It’s what Jesus wants, He said “Go”; before He said to go, He Himself set the example of going to the people, and He sent His disciples out, to go.
Let’s leave the building as Jesus followers, let’s serve, care, mentor, coach, fix, build, etc.; but most of all, lets share the love that Jesus has for everyone with as many people as we possibly can!