When we think of church, we think of the building we go to on Sunday morning to sing worship songs and listen to a sermon. This is a typical definition of what church is. There is another way of defining the church. Some people would define church as a body of believers coming together for Jesus. Whether it is in worship, fellowship, serving, or study, this is what church is. Church reaches far beyond the four walls of our buildings, but we tend to limit church to the building. How can we expand beyond the four walls of our building and reach those in need just outside the doors?
When you go to church, do you role-play? Do you act differently at church than you do outside of church? A lot of times we go to church as a different person. We act and play the part of a Christ follower at church, but go home and pretend as nothing happened. I am not saying all Christians are like this, but I think we all do this in some minor way. I think one great example of this is how we love others. We talk about loving everybody while we are at church, but does this play out when you are at work. Do you show the same love you talked about in church to those who you wouldn’t normally associate with? Jesus spent a lot of His time loving the people that were rejected by the synagogue. Who do you know that is afraid to come to church because they fear that same rejection? Are willing to drop the act, be the church, and love those people who feel rejected by the church? Be the church and bring the church to them. Demonstrate God’s love to them where they are.
“Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27
Being the church outside of church isn’t that difficult. It starts with being a gospel-saturated person living in the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to live out the gospel every day, showing everyone grace and love in the most unexpected ways. The gospel is for everyone, not just those we choose to share with. God’s grace extends to everyone, and we should show that grace too. Being the church outside of church is relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to work through you to change lives. It happens when we fully surrender our lives to Christ and ask Him to infect our hearts with His love. The love of Christ cannot be contained by walls, but radiates through all who want to be the body of Christ. The Church is made of the people who radiate His love. The Church is made of the people who show love to addicts, adulterers, and gluttons. The Church is made of the people who put their lives on hold to save the life another.
“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” – Romans 12:4-5
The Church is made of a body of people. An empty building called a church can’t save lives, but a multitude of people without a building can save thousands. Don’t go through the motions of church, but be the church in motion. Remember, Jesus plus nothing equals everything. We don’t have to give anything special, we just have to be present and say yes to Jesus. Let’s stop just going to church, and let’s begin to be the church. Don’t let walls limit you from sharing the love of Christ, but allow that love to break through walls. Let’s be the church in our everyday lives. Let’s love others relentlessly, where they are. Let’s serve those who have nothing. Let’s drop the mask and follow Jesus wherever He calls us.
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