Out Being the Church
Launching a new church in North America is not easy, success rates are low, momentum can be elusive, and detractors can be found everywhere. The first church plant I was a part of, we focused on “having church,” which was in a borrowed building, without Air Conditioning, and with as many inconveniences as you could think of. In that environment God was able to open my eyes to the fact that church isn’t just something you “have,” it’s something you “are.” The congregation of God is a people, not a place. So the focus should be on being. Now I’m a part of a new launch team/core group and the cornerstone of our strategy is to “BE” the church. As we “have” church by gathering together (1) we are encouraged by the results of our “being” during the week and (2) we anticipate God using our new church in incredible ways in the coming days. So here is what many churches and plants lack: (1) encouragement because the crowd in attendance when they “have” church is small and (2) anticipation of future fruitfulness. Solution: Get out and be the church!
This week our launch team of 25 accomplished some big things through small acts of “being”:
– Monday, four volunteers taught Recovery and Life Skills at our local jail. Three hours commitment, but fulfilling the call of Christ to visit those imprisoned is a big feat.
– Tuesday, received word that the launch of a new church is rural Zimbabwe that we helped to sponsor financially and with prayer was successful. As a church that doesn’t yet have weekly worship services we are already investing in church planting and evangelism around the world.
– Saturday, our launch team got together and cleaned the yard of a family in need in our area. Loving our neighbor as ourselves through simple ministry projects can bring hope to many in our communities.
Being the church is not difficult. You just have to find a need and say yes. And being the church is just plain fun. Let’s not focus on what kind of Sunday you are “having”, but on what kind of people are you “being.”
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9.