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
The church is out, not in. Church begins when church is out.
For years, we’ve been focusing on the inward church. Get everybody inside the building. The model has been to go out and bring them in. That’s because the professionals are supposed to be inside. They’re the paid professionals. This is where the show is. They will do the job for us. Especially now, when music is so important and the entertainment level is so high. We hire pastors who can draw a crowd. They have to be part comedian, part preacher, or else everyone will go somewhere else. We bring in musicians and singers who can wow everybody. We make church the place you have to be, and that has as much to do with making it entertaining as anything else.
But Jesus said “Go.”
Church begins when church is out. Whatever that was in that building with the rock concert and the TED talk, it’s over now, and the people streaming out of the building are the real church. They are gifted, they are filled with the Holy Spirit, they don’t need professionals and they don’t need to be entertained. They carry with them the most precious gift of all — they carry Christ wherever they go.
They are the ones who will make and build relationships, and those relationships are where Christ will be found. Christ isn’t in the sermon; He’s not in the music; He doesn’t need a building; He’s in the people, and the people are out. Good. That’s where they’re supposed to be. Time to love, time to listen, time to care, time to heal. Time for church. Church is out. Jesus said “Go.” Go, people, go.
Grace turned inward? No. Grace Turned Outward. Church is out. Let’s go to church!
Amen to this: “Church begins when church is out.”