Imagine a church where everyone is welcoming, music is on point, and the lighting is fantastic. Imagine the kids in children’s church having a blast while the adults receive a challenging but encouraging word. Picture the altars full of people waiting on the Lord. What a wonderful experience! The rest of the week everyone is about their daily activities waiting for the next experience.
Now imagine a church where everyone leaves the building and takes the message of Jesus Christ to the workplace, to the home, to the streets. See the people desiring to live the message of Jesus for everyone to see, seeking out the hurt and lost, and taking others under their wing to help them grow in their faith to know the grace of God.
The first picture of the church is just a picture of a building filled with people desiring an experience. It is strictly brick and mortar and has no life. It is not a picture of true Christianity. Despite this, many seek this type of church. Why? Because it is easy. It is easy to go and sit in a service, possibly serve in the building one to two times per month for a couple of hours each week and then return home to life as usual.
The second picture of the church is a church alive! It is a church in motion. It can be messy and hurtful at times. It can be time consuming at times and sacrifices of self must be made. It is not always easy. It can be hard at times, but it is also beautiful and rewarding. It is the Word made flesh living through you.
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20
Many Christians are relinquishing their call to make disciples to a “building” instead of fulfilling the command of Jesus themselves. A building cannot develop a relationship. A building cannot train a disciple. It is easy for us as individuals to say, “Oh, the ‘church’ will do that. The ‘church’ has staff and pastors to handle things like that. I tithe so the ‘church’ can handle that for me.” I placed the word ‘church’ in quotes because many see the church as being an institution rather than the ‘church’ being “ME” -- not a building.
It needs to be remembered that the church is a collective group of believers with “ME” as a part of that equation. As an individual – I can develop relationships. I can make disciples. I can get down in the dirt with someone and show them God’s love. Church as a collective group of believers living and representing Christ can be messy. It comes with disappointment at times, but it is what Jesus calls us to do. The ‘church’ that Jesus referred to in Scripture is a group of believers living to serve other people. Jesus embodied this from the day He called Peter and Andrew until the day He ascended to heaven telling his disciples to go and do as He had shown them. A brick and mortar building cannot “go” to the lost, the sick, and the hurting, but YOU can. Remember, YOU are the church! The Holy Spirit is with you wherever YOU (the church) goes. Are you being the church, the living Word of God? Embrace the calling Jesus has given and GO make disciples Church!
Written by: Pastor Marquiel Baker