Be the Church
Be the Church Quotes
“We will never change the world by going to church. We will only change the world by being the church.”–Unknown
“When the church is being the church, there is no community that can compare to the church.” Eric Mason.
“Don’t let a building confine your faith because we will never change the world by just going to church, we need to be the church.”- Unknown.
“Don’t just go to church, be the church.” -Unknown
What is the Church?
These quotes aren’t saying we don’t need to GO to church. Going to “a church” is essential for our spiritual health and a great privilege. But the building is not “the church.” It’s the people who meet there to worship God, get spiritual nourishment, pray, praise God, celebrate communion, and share their lives. As “the church”- the body of Christ- we each have different, yet vital functions. We bring a complete image of Jesus out into the world when we work together. Paul reminds us of an important truth: “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27. Who knows what our church experience is going to look like going forward? Bringing Jesus to our own world is looking to be even more important!
The Church in the New Testament
You won’t find the word “church” used in the Bible to refer to a building where the new believers met. Instead, it uses the names of the city where the followers lived: the church in Jerusalem, Philippi, Corinth, etc. Similar to ours - Christ the King Lutheran Church of Combined Locks. Early believers met in house churches within the cities. Because of the size of the homes in those days, they only accommodated about 15-20 people. Acts 2 describes the fellowship of the early believers: “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (v42) They met every day and ate together “with glad and sincere hearts.” (v46). They encouraged each other and shared what they had with those in need. The early believers studied Jesus’ teachings, celebrated communion, and had times of prayer. They expressed joyful praise and showed practical expressions of love by meeting each other’s needs. While our churches today may look and sound different, these core practices and truths haven’t changed.
What Does the Bible say about the Church?
Jesus only used the word “church” twice in the gospels. The first time was in response to Peter’s confession of faith in Jesus as his Savior, the Messiah. Peter boldly declared, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16 (NIV). Jesus responds: “You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church…”. The word Jesus used for church refers to those who are “called out.” Peter’s statement of faith is one all Christians give, and it is what binds us together. Therefore, as a member of Christ’s body of believers, we too are “called out” as His people. We are Christ’s church. We are to live out the good news of Jesus. Not only in our homes or within our church building or Bible study or life groups, but our world.
We the Church
The church has always consisted of those who are “called out.” We are people working together, using our gifts to serve others and live out God’s grace and love. We had some unprecedented times, and it will take a bit of work on our parts to go out and “be the church” when we were used to staying home. I love to meet with my friends and worship God together, and I’m so thankful for our in person and online Sunday services! I can worship, praise, and hear Biblical teaching and encouragement at church or from the comfort of my family room. There are online sermons, devotions, home activities, and many video call options to stay connected. Can you imagine trying to navigate our past situation without the technology we have in place?
Being the Church
More than ever, we need each other- fear, anxiety, isolation, and loneliness can weigh us down. Daylight savings time is here and days are shorter and darker. We have to work harder and use our creativity. But we can still “be the church.” We can show the love, respect, forgiveness, and servant heart of Jesus in so many ways.
Practical Ways to Be the Church
1. Support your church staff.
Encourage Pastor Nate or Pastor Judy by sending an email/call/card/ – let them know how their sermon touched you. Let the staff know how much you appreciate all their hard work to make sure we can have programs and online options. Leave a chalk message on the church sidewalk. Reach out in any way you can to uplift and encourage them. Find out what Christ the King may need for their programmatic areas!
2. Checking in with your friends and neighbors.
We were all “shut-ins” not that long ago! Pay special attention to those who live alone or are elderly. Make phone calls, send cards, take the time to talk as you walk the neighborhood. Offer to pick up something at the store if you’re planning to go out. Buy some fresh flowers for someone who needs a “pick-me-up” and leave them on their front porch- ring the doorbell or send them a text to alert them. Do the same with jump ropes or chalk for the neighborhood children. The smallest things can make a big difference!
3. Practice Instant Forgiveness.
We were spending a lot of time together and are now trying to figure out this new normal… we’re stressed and maybe a bit irritable. That can lead to some sharp words and grumpy spirits. Instead of adding to the stress, take a breath, and instantly forgive. Respond kindly. Apologize freely.
4. Share Your Wins.
We need to hear the wonderful news that’s out there. What have you found to be a great pick-me-up, a way to pass the time, a new skill/hobby you’ve mastered? Yes, share it on social media or with friends and family. It’s a great connection, lifts spirits, and may encourage others to try something new. Tell others what lessons you’re learning and the blessings the unexpected lengthy downtime we endured has provided. Ask others to share their wins, too.
5. Support Small Businesses.
Buy gift cards or use the takeout option to support your favorite restaurant, bakery, or coffee shop. RaiseRight has some great Scrip card options with many local businesses! Check them out!
6. Support our Essential Workers.
Call your local fire/police department and ask if they are taking donations of food or gift cards. Call your local hospital and ask about their needs. Call the local food pantries, Pillars, Harbor House, etc. and see what their needs are. When you are shopping, thank the cashiers for showing up to work because we definitely know every business is short staffed nowadays.
And most importantly–
For all those mentioned above plus those who are ill at home and in the hospital. Pray for our nation’s leadership so they may find a good balance. Pray as you are out for a walk, for the people and homes you pass. Lift up the lonely and the jobless. And don’t forget about yourself - pray for wisdom, patience, grace, and rest.
Your Finance Manager, Aubrey Novak