DayBreaks for 09/09/13 – A Living Church
NOTE: Galen is on vacation this week. DayBreaks this week are from the archives, September 2003:
What makes a church a living church? If you were moving into a new town and were searching for a new church, what would you look for? Would you look for the best worship experience? The best preaching? The nicest facilities (which would tend to indicate a thriving church)? The best youth programs? What would you look for?
Long ago, John Calvin mused about the same question, and he held that there were three signs that indicated whether or not a church was alive:
FIRST: the Word was being preached and taught.
SECOND: the sacraments were being practiced.
THIRD: the church has turned its community upside down.
The first two might be items you had anticipated. But had you thought about the third? I think Calvin had an excellent point. What good is a church that has no impact on its community? Why should anyone think that a church that has no impact on its community is a living church?
In Acts 17:6, these words are recorded about the visit of Paul and Silas to Thessalonica: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here…”. As far as the Thessalonians were concerned, Paul and Silas were trouble makers, having made trouble “all over the world”. They were having an impact wherever they went.
Here’s the catch: the church isn’t a set of buildings and rooms. The church is people. The church cannot have an impact on a community unless its individual members are having an impact on the community, because the church IS the people. How much of an impact are YOU having on the community in which you live? You are the church!
PRAYER: Lord, we need courage to make the kind of impact you want us to have! Help us to understand that the world will never change unless we are the change agents! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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