Be the Church
Church is not a building. Church is not an event.
By: Pastor Louis Cherubin
The church is not a building nor an event, but who we actually are. The church has been erroneously perceived as a building; an organized group of people that gather and just read the Bible. The reality of the Church (Greek: Ekklesia) is bigger than its perception. Many people may have misrepresented the church which may bring light to the many preconceived notions. Ultimately, “the Church” is people of God, filled with the presence of God, set apart and called to the purposes of God in the world. For this reason, we must be committed to equipping everyday people for the everyday mission to achieve gospel saturation everywhere, every day.
Do you believe that? Do you believe you are the church? Do you believe the church is actively on mission every day in the activities of life – in the workplace, at school, in cafes and pubs, around dinner tables, and on the soccer field, all for the glory of God?
If you are a leader in the church, do you see that your job is not to primarily do the ministry for the church, but to equip the church for ministry in the everyday activities of life (Ephesians 4:11-12)?
Four years ago, we planted a church in the city of Ocala. Honestly, we did not know what to expect. We wrestled with the idea of transitioning the traditional concept from a Sunday church to an “everyday” church, praying with members through wounds old and new, and reorienting our people to see themselves as the church – a people saved by God who have been sent out into the world by God for his purposes.
Recently, I met with our Serve Team Leaders. After our meeting, I asked one of the leaders their thoughts on the commitment, vision, and responsibilities we have for our community.
“To be honest, we’re a little overwhelmed.”
When I asked why, they responded:
“Well, I am used to church being one to two hours on Sunday and a few hours on Wednesdays. But at this church you keep reminding us by saying that we don’t go to church, we are the church 24/7. That’s a little overwhelming because that means everything counts – we’re always on.”
I said, “Well, you know I didn’t make that up, right? You already were the people of God 24/7 regardless of whether I said so.”
They agreed with some laughter, “Of course, we see that. It’s just that we weren’t really thinking about it before. Now we are.”
I continued, “Well, it doesn’t need to overwhelm you. If you were the church 24/7 before when you weren’t thinking about it, and God was at work in you whether you knew it or not, think about how much more fulfilling life could be when you are fully aware that he is at work in and through you all the time, even when you’re sleeping!”
I went on to explain that God isn’t necessarily looking for us to try harder or add more ministry demands on our lives. He wants us to walk in greater awareness and dependency on him in the everyday stuff of life and engage what we’re already doing with gospel intentionality.
This isn’t additional, this is intentional. It’s not about adding more to our busy lives; it’s about engaging all of life for his glory. It’s about fully realizing we have his power because he is present in us and in all we do. In addition, if you are wanting to see real change, you must be intentional. You first must be aware that you are an agent of change. You are the church.
Whether you’re a leader or not, God wants you to see that he is present in your life by his Spirit, at work in your life by his power, and eager to be glorified through your life for your joy, others’ good, and Jesus’ fame. Be intentional. BE THE CHURCH.