What does the world think of your church? When people drive past your church, do they see anything more than the carefully selected words on your sign? If you ask someone what your church has done for them, one of those retired guys who lived in the area before there was a superstore or second gas station, would his answer be, “There’s a church there?”
As Christians, we so often get sucked into this world where we need to keep on learning and growing and stuffing ourselves with the meat of the Word, but have we become fat off it? Now, don’t get me wrong, Biblical learning is vital, and the very fact that you are reading this right now means that you probably agree. Yet spiritual obesity is real and it is rife in our churches today. It happens when we intake so much and yet have no spiritual output. This type of fatness is much the same as physical obesity, and it is simply not any way to live.
1 Timothy 4:8 says, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (KJV)
We need to be active and willing to serve God in any way He wants us to serve Him. We must be athletes ready to perform the most embarrassing of tasks and do so with a smile. Any strong athlete will tell you that you have to work to get to a place of even a little strength. It’s just the way life works! Equally so, our spiritual lives are in need of work. Not just work to take in the spiritual meat instead of the milk we once needed, but work to put the strength and tenacity we found in the Word towards reaching and caring for the world around us.
Think of all the ministry Jesus himself had during his days on earth! From such a young age we see him teaching in the temple itself. Many would be amazed if someone that age was able to keep up with what was being discussed, but Jesus began to teach. That is taking knowledge – His strength, His wisdom – and imparting it to others who desperately need it. Can we not follow in his footsteps? Can we not take the gift, he fought so hard to give us, to those few willing to hear us?
Christ himself – part of the Trinity, the highest of highs, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings – died for (insert name here). What a thought! What an image! The ruler of your country probably doesn’t know who you are, and even if they did, would they care about you? I highly doubt it. But the Creator of the universe – the One more powerful than any king, president, or emperor – stepped down from heaven itself into a smelly pen full of livestock to live the life of a Jewish peasant under Roman rule and die the most agonizing death possible for you. Why, then, can we not reach out to our community? Jesus died to reach you, but your five minutes are too good for the heathen across the street?!
That is the problem with the churches who close down. Nobody tried to look outside their stain glass windows and the congregations grew fat and inactive. Is your church heading there today? Do people in your neighborhood know of your church as a landmark, or a haven for sinners wanting forgiveness? Do you provide well thought-out phrases and slogans for people to read as they drive past your sign, or do you give hope and light to a world full of souls stumbling through this cold, dark world?
You know the answer. And if you dislike it, how can you change it? Be a leader in your church! Do not believe all this “church of tomorrow” rubbish. You are the church of today. If someone will not reach out to the community, you cannot make them. But I say we show them how to love a world that is not perfect, even if it costs us. I say we become the change we want to see in our church. I say we stop waiting for someone else to take a stand, and we take a run.