Be the Church
Since I’m not fond of Starbucks, Einstein Bros Bagels has lately been my favorite “office.” Three days ago I felt led to make a morning bike ride there. Shortly after getting my bagel and coffee, I struck up a conversation with a man sitting at the table next to me. I was surprised to find out Bill is in his 40s. He looked so much younger.
Eventually I asked Bill questions concerning his eternal destiny. He first responded by saying different churches had given him conflicting definitions of how one is saved. I soon determined Bill is a Christian for he professed knowing Jesus as Lord. However, Bill hasn’t gone to church for a while because of the bickering he’s seen amongst congregations. That reminded me of what Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Bill then said he often spends his Sundays feeding the homeless. Certainly that is commendable. More Christians need to “be the church” and serve others instead of just going to church and warming the pews every week. God never intended church to be like a spectator sport. Still that doesn’t negate the Bible’s commandment of “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Bill also told me he’s visited many local churches but hasn’t found one he liked. I occasionally hear this from Christians I encounter while doing street ministry. Too many of them choose a church for the wrong reasons (“It’s close to my house”, “My family has gone there for years”, etc.). The best church for anyone to go to is the one God has assigned them to. As 1 Corinthians 12:18 says, “But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.”
Near the end of our conversation, I mentioned a couple local churches Bill hadn’t heard of. He thanked me after I gave him the address to one of them. A few minutes later, the pastor’s wife from that church showed up at the bagel shop! I believe this was a sign for Bill to at least visit that church. The next step is up to him.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” - Matthew 7:24