Boy do I have a message for you today though. Guess where I heard this message this past Sunday? … Yes… At a church service. Guess where?…. Nope… a hole in the wall bar on the AL/FL border. The same bar that is known for it’s crazy times and that I frequented often during my college years. I heard about a church service there and of course was a little skeptical. At first I wanted to go because I was curious, then I questioned if I should go… if it would honor God. Then as time came closer to go, I wanted to stay out on the beach and lounge instead. This is when I realized I would be dishonoring God if I did NOT go…. So I went.
Would you believe the place was packed?!?!? Standing room only… Children running around everywhere… no one with bushwhackers or other cocktails in their hands; but instead water bottles the many volunteers were passing out. I was in awe. The pastor was awesome… Worship was sincere… It was the real deal! And to top it off, it ended with baptisms in the ocean (1 was planned – an 8yr old girl, 2 others were spontaneous middle aged men). How incredibly cool is that!?!?!?
Ministries like that get me excited. Out of the box. Going out in the world and being among the lost. (Mark 2:17). That’s where you see God at work. And to think… I almost didn’t go. I almost gave into the judgemental “Pharisee” mindset. This was an AHA moment for me. Sometimes we the “Church” stay sheltered inside the “church” building and we miss BEING the “Church” that God called us to be (Mark 16:15). This is the True Church … not a building, but people leaving the “building” to share the gospel.
So, what’s the challenge for us here? Start preaching in a bar? No… Not for most of us anyway. I believe it’s to change our thinking about Sunday church and start doing church everyday. We’ve been going to church once a week to get filled up. But then, what do we do with it. Keep it for ourselves or pour it out on those who need it outside of church? Church doesnt have to be a service… church is us going out in the world being a light and sharing our stories. Your Church building is the filling station. Go out and use the fuel for good.
Start thinking out of the box. How can you be a light today? How can you be THE church outside of YOUR church?
Mark 16:15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone
Mark 2:15-17 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”