This is a repost of some thoughts I wrote down a couple of years ago. As I’ve been on this journey, I’ve found many others who feel the same way, so I believe this post is as timely as ever. I’ve edited a few things without changing the overall content of the post.
I often wonder what a church without walls looks like. One that is not consumed with or even tied to a building. I think we need to talk about this subject more – to make it a part of the DNA at our churches. Technically, the Church (the bride of Christ) IS a church without walls. (Romans 12:4-5)
When Christ looks at the Church, He doesn’t see a building, programs, structures, institutions. He sees people. He sees a body that works together, struggles together, struggles to get it right, and works to live under His authority and direction while pursuing His mission in the world.
I think that there is a hunger, an awakening of people that have done the “church” thing and have been left wanting. They feel that there should be more than just attending a service for an hour a week, going home, and then doing it all over again the next week. There’s more to living the Christian life than attending a service, going to a weekly Bible study or small group, and giving an amount of time to serve other Christians. Those people are right.
It’s about living a life of risk and purpose. It’s about stepping out in faith, knowing that you have a mission and amazing news for all those around you. It’s living, not according to my own agenda, but by someone else’s agenda.
This life of a church without walls is a life of such freedom. Only, we seem to bind ourselves to programs, budgets, and staff (or the lack thereof). We need to free ourselves of those shackles and the perception that we can’t do ministry without those things.
A church without walls means every person in the church takes responsibility for reaching out to his or her neighbors and neighborhood. We can no longer be dependent on church staff to do everything because church staff can’t do it all – they never could. The purpose of church staff is to encourage and empower people to do the work of pastors, shepherds, teachers, building them up to a maturity in their faith and mission of Jesus Christ (Eph. 4:11-12)
It also requires us to be creative – to think outside the walls of the church and the boxes of ministry that we have created. It requires us to step into other’s lives that are messy and will push us outside of our comfort zones.
It requires risk but produces great reward. This type of mentality also asks a ton of questions and is okay without knowing all the answers. It’s definitely an adventure and one I am continuing to pursue.
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