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How Does Your Church See Itself?

One Sabbath, while traveling through Philippi, Paul happened upon several women who were worshipping God near a river.  One of them, a woman named Lydia, opened her heart to what Paul had to say concerning Christ.  She responded to his message and was baptized.  Then she went home and told her family what she learned.  Soon they, too, were baptized.  Next Lydia convinced Paul and his traveling coworkers to make her home the base of their operations.  Her home became the location where the first church in Philippi would gather for worship and Lydia was one of the congregation’s primary leaders.

Immediately upon her conversion, Lydia began to serve God.

She opened up her heart, her home, and her pocketbook to the work of God.

She believed that her confession of faith made her a participant in God’s mission.

Today lots of people talk about the “missionary arm” of the church.  It’s as if some segment of the church is separated from the rest and called “missionary.”

This is stinking thinking.  It makes “missions” something we support with prayers and offerings, rather than something we ARE – because the Holy Spirit dwells within us, guiding us to join Jesus’s mission of making the Father’s love and grace known to all humanity.  As a result, the church (especially in the West) has been robbed of its purpose and passion.

The congregation that met in her home did not see themselves as a “missionary arm” — rather they saw themselves as Paul’s coworkers, right there next to the Apostle and fully involved in the same work as he.  They saw themselves as people on God’s mission of bringing grace to everyone, everywhere.

That’s how every congregation should see themselves.

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2 Responses to “How Does Your Church See Itself?”

  1. Terry W Spencer says:

    Well said. Would like to use this in Church bulletin.

  2. Bill says:

    Go for it, Terry – I am honored.

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