Hey Church, What on Earth are We Doing?

 

Hey Church, what on earth are we doing?

As we are at home social distancing, I saw a post pop up a few times that said, “With the church shutting its doors,
it is time for us to show that the church has never been about the building.”
I love this quote…but then I watch “the church” right now and wonder, what on earth are we doing?
Does this mean we just watch online streams, share memes, and join Zoom calls with our Christian friends?
Is that our idea of showing the world that the church has never been about the building?

What does it mean to be the church right now?

Does it mean we are to just be extra nice to people in this time of need? I think this is a great idea but I also think it’s a bit ignorant
to think Christians are the only people doing nice things in this world right now.
More so, why are you so sure others see Christ and the church in action when you do these good deeds?
For example, let’s say as a Christian you buy groceries for your neighbour because they aren’t able to go out themselves.
Some will say that is being the church because that person is reflecting the love of Christ and His character with their actions.
But are you sure the person receiving the groceries somehow put your good deed and Christ together?
(I’m assuming you’re not wearing an awkward Christian t-shirt while doing this)
Now what happens next week when an Buddhist does the exact same good deed to the same neighbour?
Does that same neighbour say, “I saw Christ’s love and His church in action” through the Buddhist buying me groceries?
What if they wanted their good deed to show off their god instead of Jesus?
I know God works in mysterious ways, but we can’t be naive and just assume that the person who received the groceries
will be able to differentiate which one was the church in action and which wasn’t, unless we go beyond just doing nice things as the church.
On the flip side, I don’t think this means we just go and knock on everyone’s door since they are home and share 100 fun facts
about Jesus either. I’m not convinced that’s the most effective way to show others this church isn’t about walls right now,
Obviously reflecting the love of Christ on this earth through good deeds is a big part in showing the church isn’t about a building.
However, I don’t know if being the church is JUST about doing nice things for others. I would even argue that
Jesus didn’t JUST walk around doing nice things for people…
and I would also argue if His disciples JUST walked around doing good deeds in the first century,
the church might not exist today. Both Jesus and His disciples intentionally pointed these good deeds to God and the Gospel
which is where the true impact the church is made.
I think to be effective at showing people the church has never been about walls,
we have to figure out the middle ground between showing the gospel and sharing the gospel.
If we lean too far one way, we might miss out on the impact the church can have right now.
So as the whole earth is doing nice things during this pandemic,
what can the church do this Easter season to intentionally connect our good deeds to Christ?

 

Mike Gordon
Youth for Christ Canada

 

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