Recently I heard this statement: “Don’t go to church. Be the Church. I must admit it made me stop and think. Is there a difference? You bet there is!

It’s easy for us to go to church and just take in the experience. The music, the scripture, and the message fill our senses and our souls. We might feel challenged or we might feel our hearts “strangely warmed” much like John Wesley did. And then we go home.

Just going to church is not enough. Jesus expects us to do more than just sit in church. It’s a good start, but there is more to being a Christian than just attending worship. Jesus wants us to be the Church—capital C.

So what would that look like? How can we be the Church? Our early Christian brothers and sisters knew how to take care of each other. They were there to take care of the sick. They gave shelter to the homeless. The hungry got fed. And they prayed for each other.

These Christians lived in a time of horrible persecution. They needed each other to survive. Thankfully, we aren’t persecuted. However, we still need each other to survive. Christ’s love is the thread that connects us to each other and, ultimately, God.

We are called as the Church to meet the needs of all of God’s people. We are called to be Jesus to those who may not know him. We are called to take care of the sick. We are called to give hope and shelter to the homeless. We are called to feed the hungry. We are called to prayer; praying for others and ourselves.

Our world is in desperate need of God’s love and provision. Now, more than ever, there is a need to be Jesus’ hands, feet, and voice in a world that doesn’t see, feel, or hear it. Ephesians 5: 1-2 says, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.” (NLT)

As the Church we imitate the words and actions of Jesus. We reflect his words and share with others the love he has shown to us. It means more than just 1 hour of the week. It means doing so at all times.

We are the Church. We are called. We are loved and blessed so that we can love and bless others. Don’t go to church…BE the Church.