Hundreds of people have walked through the doors today. They’ve congregated, they’ve lifted up the name of Jesus, and they’ve been encouraged by God’s truths and promises.
Hundreds more have sacrificed much of their day to serve. The props and the supplies have been boxed into storage trailers. The staging and the lighting have been broken down.
It’s Sunday night. The sky is dark. The doors have been locked. The lights are off and the parking lot is empty. Church is done for another week.
Except it’s not.
VOUS Church does not believe that church is a building. Our conviction is that church is a people. Rather than a Sunday thing, we look at church as a lifestyle thing.
Church isn’t something you turn on or turn off. It is a living, breathing 24/7 entity. Regardless of the day of the week, whether in our leisure or our labor, in every situation we are the church.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
IT STARTS WITH US
Being the church begins with us as individuals. It’s important to pop the hood and survey our parts. How’s our heart? How’s our mind? How’s our soul?
These are significant questions that require critical answers.
Regretfully, some of us will worship and receive an uplifting word on Sunday only to go into our week in the shackles of discouragement, bitterness, fear, or isolation.
Some of us may be checking some sort of do-good church box and then proceed to live out a double life of sin. We have one foot in and one foot out.
In order to be the church, we need to accept God’s grace. When we center our hearts around what God has told us, rather than what the world tells us, we are able to shed the burdens of chaos, stress and confusion.
When we put God first, we allow him to direct our decisions and shape our future. It is then our souls will prosper, our hearts will soften, our peace will increase and the blessings will rain down.
BE THE CHURCH IN YOUR HOME
Culture is an attitude. Attitude dictates behavior. Behavior characterizes a group. What are the characteristics of your group – your family?
What’s on the TV? Which websites are you surfing? What are you reading? Who visits your home? What kind of language is used? What is the tone of your social media voice?
We are the CEOs of our households. We control the culture. Just like a thriving business, a home needs a mission statement and core values that lay down its foundation.
It’s our responsibility to be intentional about being the church in our homes. While we are all unique, we believe a healthy home has Jesus at the center of it.
To be the church in your home is to pray often, together and for each other. It’s to encourage one another, value each other, listen, and to be consistent and united.
When we treat our kingdom like it is God’s kingdom, we honor him, and the Holy Spirit will fill the rooms and the hearts of the people.
BE THE CHURCH IN YOUR COMMUNITY
We’ve all heard the phrase, “He or she sucked the energy out of the room.” It works the other way as well. We can infuse energy into any room.
When we bring the light of church – of God – into our careers, neighborhoods, and societies, we can be the example of what it means to live in love and community. We can be the church.
We can stay calm under pressure. We can process our thoughts and be mature in our faith and look at all things through a lens of gratitude.
We can be the one in the room who doesn’t complain, cuss or sulk. We can diffuse the gossip. We can walk with our heads held high and our shoulders back.
We can look people in the eyes. We can empathize and restrain judgement on others. We can be present with them and listen instead of waiting to speak.
We can say hello to strangers and opt out of road rage. We can pray for people instead of getting frustrated with people.
We can be different. We can do the right thing. Not because it makes us feel good, but because it’s about doing the right thing.
God commands us not to live in fear. The opposite of fear is faith. When we walk in faith, we set an example.
BE THE CHURCH IN YOUR CHURCH
We were not created to stand on the sidelines. We are living stones with gifts, talents and personalities meant to be put to use.
Every person is important. To be the church is to build and to grow the church. To be the church is to bring those far from Jesus close to Jesus. To be the church is to put away selfish ambition and to lead with a humble, servant’s heart.
To serve is our calling. To serve is to be a part of his body. To be the church is to serve the church.
Join us for Team Conference this Saturday, October 14 at 9:00 AM at JDD. This is a conference for all servant leaders at VOUS Church. You don’t want to miss this!
Church: It’s A Group Project
To learn more about what it means to be the church, watch the series of messages entitled “Church: It’s a Group Project” created in partnership with Zoe Church in Los Angeles and The City Church in Seattle.