As I travel down Mississippi Street, a road I often travel in Little Rock, I notice it is scattered with many church buildings of different denominations. Many are so beautiful that I wonder how old the church is and who built it.
Recently as I was leaving my church service the pastor’s last statement was, “The church has left the building”. His statement meant to point out that the church is not the building, but the people in it.
As I traveled down Mississippi Street, I began to wonder if the members of all the different churches had the attitude of my pastor’s statement how different our world would be. What sort of difference would it make if instead of seeing the church building as the church, we saw the people sitting in the pews as the church. The truth is, wherever we are – that is where the church is. The church building is there for us to gather and refuel, but God dwells with us wherever we go.
Maybe by changing the way we view “the church,” we will begin to see that we are missionaries wherever we are. Whether we are in the office, the grocery store check-out line, or a PTA meeting, we are on the mission field. For example, if we count all the hours we spend with our co-worker, we’d realize we spend more time with them than we do our own families. These are people that you didn’t choose to be with. Human resources put them there. Or, could it be from God’s point of view, He put them there. He put them in your life so that you can show them Christ through your words and actions.
I once had a woman ask me where the local church fit in to what we do with Marketplace Connection. My reply was, “We are turning the inside out, so the outside will come in.” If we as Christians spend all our times sitting in church pews getting filled on spiritual food we just become fat Spitual Christians with no one bringing the non-believers to Christ and to our local church.
So let’s go to our churches for encouragement and growth then leave with the knowledge gained and take it to the people God has placed into our lives. For if we want to see our local churches grow, our battle cry should be, “The church has left the building!”