Stop being a Christian.
What do you think God requires of us as people? We often believe that he wants us to be good people and do the things that would classify us as good Christians – going to church on Sundays, volunteering, tithing, reading our Bibles. But what if there’s more to it than that? Could it be possible that instead of being good Christians, God wants us to become His great church?
In the gospels we can see that Jesus was already starting to help us reimagine what this could look like.
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
-Matthew 16:18 NIV
He doesn’t call Peter the head Christian or tell him to represent Him by doing a checklist of things. No, He tells Peter that he will become the church, the foundation of the ministry that would come after Jesus.
The word church has gotten lost in translation. The original Greek word ecclesia actually refers to people who worship, not a place of worship. We don’t go to church, we are church. We are not church people, we are people who are the church.
Unfortunately, this misuse of the word church has led to the misunderstanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus and has left us being content being Christians instead of becoming the church.
Even in the scriptures, both in the old and new testament, we see how God communicates to people in the collective. Sure, he talks to Moses or Abraham or Jesus but the message is always to be relayed to others. This is why it doesn’t work to single out verses and try to apply them individually. God’s promises, blessings and covenant are understood in context and they are realized in community. Simply put, most – if not all – of scripture is addressed to us as a collective, not to you and me as an individual.
As a Christians we focus on getting a blessing. We go to church to be fed, to hear a word, to get inspired by a song or to feel accepted by the community that loves us. But if we focus on being the Church, our focuses shifts to being a blessing instead. We can use what we hear in our church buildings on Sundays and share with others but we can also take “the Church” with us wherever we go. Once we realize that we are the church because we have God’s presence in us – it frees us up to truly live out being a Jesus follower. Not so we can claim of the title of being good Christians on Sundays but so we can be the Church in everything we do.
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