[featured_image]Church is not a destination. It’s not somewhere Christians go to worship God and listen to great preaching! We often refer to our campus as our “church.” Sometimes we invite people to go to “church” with us. We value worshiping together and great preaching from God’s Word. But I think we sometimes get confused about what “church” really is.
The church is not the place of God – it is the people of God. We are the church, whether we meet in a home or a restaurant or a building with pews. We are the people of God. According to 1 Peter 2:9-10, we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a HOLY NATION, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy
We are the church! We are God’s people. He chose us. We belong to Him. We are God’s own possession. We are those who have received mercy.
I love the church! Not the buildings where we meet – but the people who belong to God’s family!
Over the years, the church I planted in Castaic, California has met in schools, homes, offices, hotels, parks and coffee shops. We’ve gathered at the Castaic Sports Complex and pizza places and Hume Lake and the beach and Lake Mead and the Oaks Camp (actually, lots of camps) and McDonald’s and Stonegate Clubhouse and Castaic Lake and backyards and living rooms all over the place. Lake Hills has a campus with a beautiful view overlooking Castaic Lake. Yet, where we meet doesn’t define who we are! If we couldn’t meet at 33100 Lake Hughes Road – our church would keep on going, because the church is the people of God on mission with God. We are those who belong to Jesus and who have been sent by Jesus on mission with the message of grace and forgiveness.
Essentially, the church is made of “missionaries” – those who belong to Christ and have been sent by Christ in community with the cross to their culture! Our vision at Lake Hills is to impact every neighborhood in Castaic with the love of Jesus through training believers to engage their culture as missionaries.
There are so many ways that this is happening. The church isn’t just up on the hill – it’s all around! Moms are meeting weekly to pray for our local schools. They belong to Christ’s church. Middle school students have formed IT412 – a Christian club that meets on campus. These students are part of the church. Neighbors are doing life together and connecting with their neighbors. That’s what the church does. A team from our church went to serve God in Amsterdam. That’s the church in action. High school students are leading their friends in worship. The church’s obsession is worshiping God. Men are meeting together at Starbucks on Friday mornings for accountability with one another. They are “doing church” right there in front of everybody who walks in for a latte.
In the workplace, in homes, in neighborhoods, and all over Castaic – you can see a visible expression of Christ’s church – sent by Christ experiencing community embracing the cross engaging their culture!
Church is not a destination.
And it’s not something you “do” for an hour on Sundays. The church is God’s people who “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light!”
Be the church!
Do your part to bring the love of Christ to every neighborhood in order to establish an active presence of Christ’s church in our community!