SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! PLEASE!

I wonder if there is anybody anywhere – any pastor, elder, deacon, council member, or anyone else – who has the nerve, the guts, the balls (sorry girls) to say “enough is enough” and just shut the church doors and keep them locked? Because something has got to change in the way “church” is being done. Has anybody anywhere had enough yet? Had enough of the week after week cutesy, cliché, clever, crowd-pleasing song and dance? Had enough of pacifying egos, patting backs, padding asses, promoting programs, purchasing properties, pitching pennies in offering plates, and giving applause to performers? Had enough determining if we will be a contemporary, traditional, blended, emergent, seeker, …type of congregation?

How about this:

Let’s refocus, reform, and return to being relevant and useful to GOD and to the people around us instead of just being another form of entertainment and recreation.

Let’s get back into the salt and light business, where we influence, affect, and lead the culture instead of conforming to it.

Let’s take back from the government the people-care businesses of healthcare, welfare, childcare, elderly care – you know the “orphans and widows” stuff talked about all throughout the Bible.

The government doesn’t know how to care for anything but itself and its primary function is to protect our borders and to police our land.

Let’s let the government do its job and we’ll do ours. The Church’s job is to witness of Christ in our lives and evidence this by our love for other people through our helpful words and good deeds – how we sacrifice for others, how we serve others, and how we share with others – all the things that Jesus modeled as He walked upon this earth.

So let’s stop building churches and let’s start being churches.

How about this:

What if all the Jesus followers in each community all worshipped together every week? What a novel idea!

Because we don’t need padded pews, theatre lighting, surround-sound, video screens, stained glass, and coffee & donuts to worship. We can worship Almighty GOD anyplace, anytime – if we have the want to.

In good weather worship can take place at a park, a beach, a football stadium, a parking lot, an open field, etc…

In poor weather worship can take place at an arena, a theatre, a barn, a warehouse, a gymnasium, etc…

As it is right now we have thousands of individual congregations all doing the exact same things, yet each has the perception that it is somehow special and unique. Each is wasting resources of time, money, property, and energy.

Just imagine what it would look like, and all the good that could be done, if each zip code had one common unity (community) of believers sharing their common union (communion) in, with, under, and through Christ.

Let’s stop playing church and actually play the church.

Let’s turn our buildings into things like orphanages, homeless shelters, hospitals, medical clinics, counseling centers, daycare centers, elderly care homes, community centers, after-school centers…

Let’s get back into the people care business which is what making disciples is all about – you know “The Great Commission.”

There are weak, sick, broken, hurting, dying people all around us.

Let’s tell them about Jesus and touch them with His love.

Let’s re-model our buildings and re-define our building programs and put our millions into people caring activities that do more than take up an hour or two of our Sunday mornings.

Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before GOD the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

James 1:26-27 (The Message)

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