Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Church Has Left the Building

Across the country it seems as if a revival of service is taking place. In churches large and small, in urban and rural areas alike, the people of God are discovering the ministry of service in unique and practical ways. And through it all, the love of God is being offered to people who desperately need it.

Yesterday I recounted the story of Granger Community Church and its involvement in the Monroe Circle Community Center. Amazing things have happened there in the last eight years – and it appears that even more amazing things will happen in the future.

Hundreds of churches in Portland Oregon came together in a “Season of Service” to address five community concerns: homelessness, the medically uninsured, public schools, hunger, and the environment. Over 25,ooo volunteers from these churches fanned out across the city in an outpouring of love and generosity that moved the city. Even skeptical city officials were amazed at the outflow, and promised to continue working with the churches to accomplish even greater things. Evangelist Luis Palau, Pastor Rick McKinley of Imago Dei and Pastor John Bishop of Living Hope Church are leading the efforts.

Dino Rizzo and the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge LA started a “revolution through serving” several years ago. It has attracted a lot of national attention, and in the week before Easter, churches large and small from one end of the country to the other participated in simple acts of kindness intended to show their communities their unconditional love. Even now, almost a month later, “Servolution” stories continue to be shared via Twitter (#servolution).

What’s the deal? Here’s my take on what’s happening: We typically think of the church as the “gathered” collection of believers in a place and time: usually on Sunday mornings. Powerful worship and illuminating study of the Word of God takes place. Then the church goes home. One week later, repeat. On and on, happily oblivious to the desperate needs outside the church walls. It’s almost as if we live separate lives.

But now take another look - the “scattered” church is awakening to the power of God lived out in member’s daily lives. People are realizing that they are called to be the hands and feet of Christ, ministering and serving others as they live out their daily lives.

What a concept – a pity it has only taken us 2,000 years to begin to understand it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Check it out at: www.putyourfaithinaction.org or www.facebook.com/putyourfaithinaction