(are we being the church?)

Could it be that the church of North America today is in a crisis like they have never known before? What if that crisis is not the state of the culture around us – homosexuality, abortion, liberal judges, Hillary Clinton? What if that crisis is not what model of church we use? What if that crisis is not denominational or religiously political? What if that crisis is not even the moral failure of clergy? What if that crisis is a crisis of being…a crisis of existence?

Does the church really exist, living a message that God came near and engaging our culture today with the love of Christ? I mean, really – we have become experts in pointing out faults, lobbying TV and radio networks, selling models and programs, and holding conventions to vote on the next boycott resolution. Is that what Jesus called His church to?

In Matthew 5, He told His followers to preserve the Godness of His creation and influence the darkness of men’s hearts. We will never do this outside of the very essence of who we are – relational beings. And so, we have to be. We have to exist. We must be His church.

Instead, we are coming to church and having church and doing church. How many times have you said these phrases:

:: @ church

:: come with me to church

:: we are having church

:: what does your church do

:: what model is your church

You might be thinking – Jason, come on. That is just semantics. Well, lingo is vital to any culture. College basketball has a lingo. MAC users have a lingo. Harley riders have a lingo. Lingo is important to every culture, and it always is an expression of the values of that culture.

The New Testament refers to the “church” approx. 140 times. Every single reference is with regard to people. You don’t come to people or have people or do people. People BE. They exist in their daily, their lives proclaiming that God has come near.

Are we being the church? You see – the culture around us does not want another segment to their lives or another item on their schedule. They are crying out to belong, to count for something, to live beyond self – to really live. Jesus came to tell us that we could. We could escape the emptiness of living for self alone and live for someone much bigger than us and a purpose way beyond ourselves. How will the culture around us see that kind of living if we are not being His church 24-7…to our families, in our neighborhoods, in the marketplace, around the world, and on the web?

A friend of mine just yesterday came up with a great title for small groups in his church family – “167s.” It’s what Christ-followers should really see as “church” – their life the other 167 hours of the week outside of the one hour gathering each Sunday (or whatever day you gather).

Think about it. What if this is the crisis that could ultimately cripple the church of North America. I mean – any being who quit being became extinct.

Are you being His church?