Be the Church

Be the Church

As we face the threat of COVID-19, the way we think of church will likely be challenged. Over our lifetime, we’ve often used phrases like, “I’m going to church” or something similar in our reference to church. But think about it. We refer to church as if it’s an address, building or an event. However, as we face the threat of a highly contagious virus and even a decline in the stock market and the economy as a whole, we have a unique opportunity to “be the church.” In case you’re wondering, “being the church” is what God had in mind all along.

Across the spectrum of events, activities, meetings, conventions and gatherings in general, we are restricted from gathering in large groups for several weeks. At the moment, no one can predict how long this circumstance will continue. But this does not mean God is taking a long nap and the church should take a vacation. Instead, it just means that we have an opportunity to “shine in the darkness” and bring glory to Jesus in unique and diverse ways. I took the time to read passages in the book of Acts this morning for inspiration. The following two passages stood out to me. These passages stood out because they describes how we can “be the church” in a time of uncertainty.

AC 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

AC 4:32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

As I read through these passage, I came up with a list of things that describe how we can “be the church.”

  1. Stay devoted to worship (Bible reading, study, quiet times, prayer)
  2. Make yourself available to serve others (Hint: a v a i l a b l e)
  3. Praise God for His provision
  4. Be unified as one heart and soul
  5. Share what you have with others in need
  6. Proclaim your testimony about Jesus
  7. Give generously

Of course, we must live within the boundaries of what the CDC and government officials advise and proclaim. It is an act of obedience and respect for the Christian to “obey those appointed over us.” We must also pray over our nation and the world in this time of crisis. And, regardless of what these circumstances may bring, let’s not forget to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We may not be “going to church,” which is a misleading in the first place; however, we can make the most of the circumstances and find every possible way to “be the church.”

A Work in Progress,
Pastor Gene