Most of us are accustomed to thinking of church as a building, even if we know that the Bible properly defines church as the body of Christ (people that have been united with Christ by grace through faith). That thinking can unfortunately lead us to a slightly misguided way of living the christian life. When we live as if church is a place rather than a person, the center of our spiritual activity can easily become what happens in a building, rather than what happens in our lives. In essence, we can limit the effectiveness of the church by erecting a mental fence that separates our worship of God from the rest of our lives.
But God has not designed the church to be fenced in, or to be contained by physical walls. If we are the living body of Christ, then what we do with our lives on a daily basis is our spiritual activity – for good or for bad! Which also means that the church does not reach farther than we do. Being the church means that everywhere we go, the church goes, too. More than a set time on a Sunday morning, the church is living, moving, and working seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.
This certainly doesn’t mean that “attending church” is irrelevant or unimportant. In fact, it is immeasurably important. When individual members of the body of Christ meet together as one, we are reminding ourselves that we do not belong solely to ourselves. We who are connected together in the body of Christ are learning to live a life that is bigger than our own interests, passions, and goals. We no longer live for ourselves, but for He who has created us, saved us, and guides us.
This Sunday, I’ll be concluding our “More Than a Steeple” series at Liberty Hill by talking about what it means to live as Christians that look past the fence, and live as “Free Range” followers of Christ. I hope you can be with us, but if not, remember that you’re still taking church with you!
Grace Received, Joe Payne