churches are about to reopen for business.
Scratch that. What I mean is that many small buildings and campuses are preparing to reopen for worship services. It’s what’s happening in my little slice of the world, anyway.
You see, we’re NOT reopening for business. The Church of Jesus Christ has never shut down either. It never could be shut down because it’s not dependent upon a building.
The Church has remained OPEN for the Father’s Business.
In case you haven’t realized yet, the Church is not man-made. Buildings are man-made. Man cannot shut down the Church. Man can only shut down buildings.
Just maybe this crisis is helping the Church to take another great stride in understanding that buildings are not the Church. Buildings do not even make up local churches. But buildings and bank accounts, for that matter, have become idols to far too many local churches.
Our local church has not been shut down. Our campus has not been open to large gatherings for public worship. But our church has been operable every day during this health crisis and subsequent quarantine.
How’s that?! We’ve been preaching the Gospel. We’ve been making disciples. We’ve been counseling the broken. We’ve been feeding the hungry. We’ve been praying with and for those in need. We’ve assisted those who were struggling. We’ve encouraged the front-line workers. In short, we’ve continued to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
The Church of Jesus Christ has a Great Commission, which cannot stop with the large omission of buildings. Those who took a vacation from ministry during this crisis were already living as though they had no mission.
Therefore, the call to reopen is not a call to reopen the Church. The Church was never closed down. Our local church was never closed.
The call to reopen is a call to return to the responsible use of our buildings and campuses, to the glory of God. Let us never forget that we do not have to have buildings to worship God.
But we are called to come together. Why is that? It’s because we are always stronger together!
We have come together in tiny groups of two and three throughout this quarantine because we are essential to our communities and congregations. We have planned and prepared services and worshiped Jesus in these small groups.
We have come together in large gatherings in online settings throughout this quarantine because we are hungry to worship the God who saved us and called us with a holy calling.
And now we prepare to come together in our buildings to worship our risen Lord. The call is to come together and assemble as we have in times past because we grow stronger together.
It was never God’s intention that we become online-only Christians or online-only churches. The call is to assemble together!