Tragic photos and videos of the Notre Dame Cathedral have been all over the news since it caught on fire yesterday, as many of us have probably seen by now. The church originally opened in 1345, and during the news coverage, reporters kept talking about this church as a piece of art and popular tourist attraction in Paris….it was essentially just seen as a building.
Is that how people see the church in today’s culture?
In the old days, the church was considered the hub of the local community and had a big influence on the culture, which went beyond the walls of a physical structure.
And even the Social Hub of the community
The church was known by the impact Christians were making as a community in their respective communities.
If your church burnt down this week, would anyone notice?
I understand what happened in France is an extreme case, but did you know they are predicting over 9000 churches will be closed in Canada over the next 10 years? That is a huge number of churches for a country with our population. In the US, experts say there are around 4000 churches closing each year.
Again, would anyone in your community notice if your church wasn’t there anymore?
Would the schools notice?
Would the hospital notice?
Would politicians notice?
Would your neighbours notice?
Sadly, despite what we might want to believe, many in our community beyond our congregation probably wouldn’t notice if we were closed. Have we lost our influence?..Or maybe we have simply lost our focus?
Sometimes we tend to get too wrapped up in having perfect theology on a Sunday morning, how the flowers are going to look on Easter weekend, and if the worship team sounds exactly like the new Hillsong album. Although what happens in the church is important… If this is all we’re doing, then we must ask what are we doing?
Our influence as the church and as Christians must continue to be focused and extended outside of the church.
Jesus says we are the light of the world.
He does not say we are the light of the church.
We need to shine in this world and within our communities, which must go beyond just a building. If we continue to focus on being the light of the church, our church may essentially just be looked at as a historical building in our community moving forward. But if we are focused on being the light of the world, that can forever change the community, and many lives beyond these walls.
As we celebrate Easter this weekend, remember Jesus didn’t just keep the Good News within the walls – And here we are today still impacted by what He did in this world.
(Feel free to share this if you feel it has any value – Thank you)