If This Church Disappeared
December 10, 2014
“If this church disappeared tomorrow, I wonder if anyone would notice.”
That’s a quote from a pastor noted in book I’ve been reading, but it reminds me of a similar statement that Reggie McNeal made to a group of Reformed Church in America pastors and leaders several years back in Florida and one several members of our staff also heard him ask at a gathering in West Michigan.
It’s a question that stuck with us.
It’s a question that has transformed how many of us think.
It’s a question that has caused us to ask what the purpose of the church is and whether we are on mission in pursuit of those purposes. It was the impetus behind ministries like Hand2Hand and efforts like Youth Week and Street by Street. It fueled our passion for church multiplication and helping people find their way back to God. It’s also behind the evaluation of many of our existing programs and at the base of reasoning for ending some.
I think it’s an important question to keep before us. Are we making a difference for the Kingdom of Jesus in our community in such a way that the community notices? Are marriages being saved, relationships being restored, the poor being dignified and helped, justices being confronted with gospel truth, addictions being conquered, and more? Would there be a gaping hole in our community if our churches ceased to exist? I hope so. I hope that we are following God into the work he is doing outside the walls of our church buildings to be the very presence of Jesus to the lost, hurting, and broken.