CHURCH: Come Inside & See or Go Outside & Tell?
I saw a church sign the other day that disturbed me. It said, “Come in and see what God is doing.” If the only way for people to see what God is doing in our local church is to come inside; something is wrong. The biggest evidence of what God is doing “in our” church is the level of impact that God is having “through” our Church on our community.
God designed the Church to be the extension and out-working of the purposes of God on planet earth. Not just the out-working of His plan on Sunday “at church”, but we as the Church are called to outwork his purpose in our everyday lives and circles of influence. Check out one of my favorite string of verses on this topic:
Ephesians 1:20-23 (MSG) All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.
A key mission of the Church is that we are the body of Christ carrying His presence to every corner of the world, starting with right where you live.
Having said that, the place we go to church or gather as the Church is a huge part of how God can and wants to reach our communities. But what should that Church be like when they “come inside and see?”
The love of the Church community is one of the greatest evangelism tools that we have.
The Church Experience: Come inside and see:
If you are the pastor of a church, a key leader or volunteer team member we can all contribute to the powerful impact of the local church. Here are a couple of key atmosphere essentials that our churches need to have if we are going to have community impact.
- Welcoming to all
- Genuine/open and authentic
- Create space for God encounters
- authentic and passionate worship
- Theologically sound teaching
- Relevant and culturally engaging
- Passion for reaching the community (Champions Foundation is the outreach arm of Champions Centre)
If you have a great Church, like I’m a part of at Champions Centre, you are getting solid Bible teaching and inspiration weekly. The challenge then for our people is to not leave our walk with God at church on Sunday but go out and BE the Church during the week. What should that look like for the Christian in our everyday life?
The Individual Christian: Go outside and tell
If your life isn’t reaching people with the message of God’s grace and hope outside of the Church than something is off. I was talking to my friend Aaron Buckner about his life outside of Church. He’s a part of our volunteer team at Champions Centre Bellevue but he’s also one of the lead performers at a dueling piano bar in the Seattle area. While he’s not getting up on the piano preaching about Jesus, several of his coworkers have started coming to church and have giving their lives to Jesus. Also his bosses have started coming and are getting involved. I loved something that Aaron said. “It’s easy to shine your light when the world you’re in is dark”. He’s said that even simple displays of loving and encouraging people are so different from what they are used to that it doesn’t take much to get people to notice something is different. Here are some simple ways that we can take the power of the Church to the world we live in.
How do we take the Church impact outside the walls of the Church building?
- See yourself as the Church beyond the 4 Walls.
- Engage and care about people who are away from God.
- Become a Contagious Christian.
- Have a positive attitude toward your boss and coworkers
- Treat your family with respect and value.
- Honor authority publicly and privately.
- Work hard and do your best at work.
- Handle yourself with honesty and integrity in everything.
- Be encouraging and positive.
- Do everything with the highest levels of excellence.
- Learn to share your story about how Jesus has changed your life and lead people to Jesus. (If doing that scares you, consider some coaching through taking a course at Champions Centre College on sharing your faith and making disciples.)
I’m praying that when people come inside our churches they experience the love of God in a powerful way, and I’m praying that as we experience the hope that only comes through Jesus that we would carry that hope and share it every day of our lives – beyond the walls of the church!
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 28:18-20