I Never Go To Church

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March 2016
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Bernie PowellThe Lord God is on mission. He is at work to rescue people out of sin and darkness. That’s why He entered this world in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus identified his mission when he said he came “to seek and to save that which is lost.” (Luke 19:10). That’s the same reason the Lord sends his church into the world. He has invited us to join him in his mission.

Christians need to make a wrenching paradigm shift in their thinking. Centuries of tradition have taught us to think of going to church this Sunday and then going to church again next Sunday. We say, “I’m going to church,” because we think of church as a building, or an event, or an institution.

If we understand church rightly, it’s impossible for the Christian to “go to church!” Christians are the church, whether we are sitting in the church gathered (Hebrews 10:24-25) or serving in the church scattered (Acts 8:4). We don’t stop being the church when the service ends. We are still the Lord’s church as we scatter to our various locations and vocations – the Lord’s assignments where he has placed us to bring him glory in all we do. We are on mission to share the love and the truth of Jesus.

And if we are the church all the time, then how can we go to church?

By analogy, I am an American all the time. Would it make any sense at all to say “I’m going to America” when I go to a voting booth or when I stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance? That would be pure nonsense.

So let’s stay on mission with God. Let’s gather regularly to be equipped, and let’s scatter to shine forth his glory into the darkness. Let’s stop going to church and start being the church. All the time.

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Bernie Powell

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