I saw a yard sign this morning that said, “My church is changing my life.” I honestly don’t even remember which church is changing this person’s life because I got stuck on the statement. And I’m sure some of you reading probably go to this church. So you can either choose to get offended and defensive or actually think about what I’m saying. Either way is perfectly fine with me.
My church is changing My life. It wasn’t bold on the sign, but it might as well have been. How about The Church is changing my life? Or Jesus is changing my life? Or maybe even My church is changing lives? I still don’t like that one, but it’s better than the original. Or how about The Church is changing lives? But that’s not specific enough to one certain church.
Because the point of the sign is to get people in the door, right? Get them there and then their lives can be changed. And while I think this particular sign is a blatant and tangible disregard for The Great Commission, I have to say that I think most church attenders, members, and staff feel the same way. This church was just bold enough not to hide it or disguise it as something else.
Church, we have to do more than just get them, whoever they are, to come to our church building. If that’s all we care about, we are totally missing the point. And if we only want to sing praises to our church, denomination, preacher, building, or programs instead of to Jesus Christ, for our changed lives, then we are making The Church our church. We are taking The Body away from whom it belongs to and making it our own.
And if you say our church doesn’t do that, then you’ve just proven my point. And while some church cultures may be more outward focused than others, there is still the underlying thought that they have to come to us to for life change. And I’m just as guilty of it as the man or woman who put that sign in their yard. If we’re honest, really really painfully honest, I think most of us can see that most churches exist for the attenders who go there, not the community that surrounds it. But The Church, the body of believers, are called to be so much more than people who occupy a building.