Have you ever driven past a church campus, looked at the buildings, and wondered what it’s like inside? You might be curious about the classroom layout, the nursery, the sanctuary, or the activities area. The worship center may be an older, not-so-well-kept brick building off the beaten path or an expansive structure with gleaming columns and mile-high windows towering over a busy intersection. However curious a person is, it takes courage to go check out a new church, especially if one is not a church-goer.
So the question remains: “What’s inside?” The correct focus, of course, is not the building at all, because, as believers, we are the church. And if you’re an active member of a congregation, you have to admit that people pass your church campus daily and don’t have a clue to what’s inside, whether their focus is on the facilities or the people.
So how do we introduce outsiders to our church and what it has to offer? Well, obviously, we can’t do it by hibernating in our “holy huddle” (as a pastor friend referred to it). Oh, it’s comfortable there, isn’t it? And with services Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night coupled with wedding and baby showers, musicals, practices, Bible studies, and committee meetings, we can stay busier than the Lord wants us to be!
And we miss the great adventure to which he has called us: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19 KJV).
So how would it be if we and fellow-members got out in the community and begun doing simple acts of service – the kind with no strings attached? What if we treated “the lost” as persons, not projects? The answer is simple: the unchurched would begin to see Midtown Baptist or Country Lane Methodist or New Neighborhood Lutheran as faces, not buildings. And those outside the sphere of the Kingdom communicate with smiling faces, not brick and mortar. They develop relationships with compassionate individuals, not parking lots. Flesh-and-blood, Christ-following individuals will impact their communities by one-on-one interactions. And God can use such ties to create a “hunger and thirst” (Matthew 5:6 KJV) for spiritual things, that the lives we touch will be propelled through the doors of our facilities.
And they will know – by personal experience – “what’s inside”, before they ever pass the worship center’s threshold. Yes, my friends, we are the church. It’s time to get out and show the world, and today’s the best time to begin!
In upcoming articles, we will examine principles from
SteveSjogren’s book Conspiracy of Kindness (available through www.amazon.com) and consider some highly-effective and fun ways to reach our communities through what Steve has dubbed “Servant Evangelism”. Get set for a wild ride!