Do you attend church on Sunday mornings? Does your church need a new roof? Have you taught your toddler to play "This is the church, this is the steeple....?
When you hear the word "church", what image comes to your mind? What do both Christians and unbelievers associate with the word "church"? An old children's chorus by Richard Avery and Donald Marsh said it well:
"The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple,
the church is not a resting place, the church is a people."
Nowhere are we told that the church is His bricks and morter. Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus command us to build temples to Him. Instead, He says that we are His temple. We are not told to establish religious corporations. He says we are the corpse. The Bible says that the church is the Body of Christ...His hands and feet here on this earth. He is the Head, and we are the flesh and bones of His Body.
I wonder what He thinks when He sees corner offices in religious high-rises, mega-entertainment empires, and denominational power-plays. How comfortable would He be sitting behind an executive desk?
Recently I was appalled to see the following statement of purpose on a local church web page:
"_______ church exists to win the lost to Christ through equipping and training believers to present inspiring, dynamic worship services and events.”
Is this the way Jesus works though His body? Jesus did not die for an event or a building or a church franchise. He died for people. Did He not come as a servant/sacrifice/mediator to reconcile sinners to God? Maybe we should stop equating the church with events and empires. Maybe we should start looking at people--one at a time--the way He did. Bring Him to them one at a time, not through entertainment or self-help programs, but through personal sacrifice. If each believer made a point of being Jesus' hands and feet in someone else's life, people would really be able to see the church. And they could really see Christ.
I wonder what He thinks when He looks at me.