Ever since humans were banished from the garden, they’ve been trying to get back: back to God and back to each other. The church is living proof that Jesus is the way back.
Let me bring this home. Gospel people don’t just talk gospel; they live it. They live the gospel of the kingdom as subjects of the king. They live the gospel of peace in their lives together. They live the gospel of forgiveness, both seeking it and extending it.
For the church to be the draw that God intends, it needs to be so much more than an hour on Sunday morning. If that is all we have, we’ll need to rely on A-List motivational speakers to inspire people, great musicians to send chills down their spines, or on wow factor and gimmicks. Such things may draw people to an hour on Sunday but they probably won’t draw them into the kingdom of love, and peace, and joy. That takes a church, not a service.
So, what should we do? We should make up our minds to be the church and not settle for going to church. That means change. Here are some changes we might want to consider. Join or start a church small group. It might be a Bible study group or a D-group or a task group – maybe one that visits shut-ins or does after-school tutoring.
Invite church people – even people you hardly know – to your home. Host a dinner. Have a party. Go to a restaurant. Take in a movie. One woman in our church hosts regular game nights, playing euchre and other games. She is constantly inviting new people, helping them know each other and like each other. Is that something you could do?
Join our first Tuesday visiting team or our Public School Prayer Team. Start a sports team: I did basketball for years. How about pickleball, softball, bowling, or golf?
Join a missional community or pray about starting one. One is already forming around Jesus and the mission to help Lockwood’s children and their friends trust him and become his life-long disciples. Another missional community might provide food for the hungry. Another might reach out in love to immigrants living in our community.
Whatever you do, however you do it, do it together. I know that is tough in a pandemic, but God can give you great ideas for togetherness at a distance. And when the pandemic is finally over, we’ll all get together. That will be the time for a big party – and lots of small parties: work parties, tea parties, birthday parties, and pizza parties. But whether we are working or playing or praying, our togetherness is a witness to the world that God’s kingdom is here and new citizens are welcome.
Those are some of the way a Good News Church lives the gospel. Next week, we’ll think about some of the ways Good News People can speak the gospel.