This week we are talking about making that real lasting investment in our communities, and making it outside of our church. (Catch-up with the introduction HERE.) I love MY church, THE church, and the calling of the church. However, sincerely believing that doesn’t mean that the Church Can Do Everything.
I believe that it was never the intention of the local church to replace individual outreach. It’s not the church’s job to reach out to my next door neighbor, or coach my kids baseball team, or volunteer at the public school in my community, or share Christ with the hurting world I interact with everyday. As Christians, it is our duty to bring life change to wherever we are living.
The purpose of the church is more of a launching pad. There is no doubt that we can create some effective outreach from within the walls of our church community, and I’ve seen great churches make an impact in their communities as a whole. But, isn’t church also to be the place that we launch people out into the world? Isn’t the local church meant to encourage those in attendance to live a life that brings glory to God and therefore spread the Gospel the world over?
Those of us working in churches, are often the last ones to get this message. We spend 50+ hours a week creating amazing experiences for the families that attend our church (and we should), but many of us spend rarely an hour a year investing in our community without our church name badge on. Why? This has got to change if we are truly to be leaders at taking the Gospel to a hurting world.
Let us force the community of believers we serve with to see Christianity as permeating our everyday life. Let’s bring light to our hurting communities, and in the process bring the light to our own churches. I’ve never once served in my community, and NOT seen my church get the attention in some way.
Many of us have personal passions that we are dreaming of fulfilling, and fell restricted by our local church. Let this not be. It’s my prayer that you find the solution to carry on the mission of your calling both inside your church walls and outside them as well.