What does it look like for us to be a church for the city? We are asking ourselves this question this week, as we are in the process of transforming a building that has historically been used for profit into a building that gives generously away.
What is the process, then?
- Exploring: looking for a place
- Finding: the hope of what could be
- Securing: it becomes a reality
- Renovating: making it what it is to be
- Welcoming: sharing it with others
In this process, we don’t want to be task-oriented, but people-oriented.
Matthew 5: 14-16: You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Jesus is the light of the world, yes, but He lives in you. You are truly the light of the world! You are God’s ‘Plan A’. What a responsibility, and what a joy!
What does this mean?
- The world is dark without you.
- You are necessary and have a purpose.
- Your light shining is what allows others to see.
- God wants you to stand out and be seen.
- Meekness is controlled strength, not timidity or fear of being the light.
- God wants others to see how you live.
- God wants you to do good.
- God wants people to see you doing good.
- God wants the good you do to cause others to acknowledge that He is real.
We are a church for the city. Therefore:
- We are not merely a church in the city, existing within its physical boundaries.
- We are not against the city, creating boundaries enclosing our own light.
- John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
- We are not driven by animosity but by love.
- We are not of the city.
- The city does not have possession over us. We are God’s. We are of God.
- We are for the city. We want it to be all that it can be.
So, in the context of the gospel, what does the process of salvation look like?
- Exploring: we are searching for Jesus
- Finding: we hear about Jesus
- Securing: we decide to trust Jesus
- Renovating: we are made holy
- Welcoming: we tell others
Friend, let your light shine. Let it be tangible! Our building doesn’t replace our good works, but accelerates them. It’s not the answer, but it will help us drive farther and faster in aligning with God’s mission to serve the city.
Biblical References: Matthew 5:14-16; John 3:16
- What does it look like for you personally to be the church FOR the city? How can you be people-oriented not task-oriented?
- Ask God what it looks like for you to be a light in the darkness in your neighborhood, your work, you family, and in the city.
- Are there places of unbelief that God has called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light? Ask God to reveal the lies and replace it with the truth that He has set you free to be light to those around you! People will experience the goodness of God by the way you live free in Jesus!