I just got back late last night from the first meeting of our 2022 Institute of Preaching. This is a year-long experience that will take me to Dunedin FL, Lutz, St. Simon’s Island, and many online classes.
One of the things they said at the beginning of the retreat was “You are not ATTENDING the Institute of Preaching; you ARE the Institute of Preaching!” That was a different way of looking at things, and I wonder if it’s a simple truth that we sometimes forget – we do not ATTEND church; we ARE the Church!
One of my colleagues used the illustration of the difference between a movie theater and Home Depot – one you come to sit and be entertained; the other you go to learn “how-to” and get the supplies you need to get the job done! When you think about our church, do you think that most people act as if our church is a movie theater, or a hardware shop? Do people come here because they want an escape from life for a while, or do they come because they want to get directions on how to live?
You do not ATTEND Church; you ARE the Church! When Jesus wants to hug somebody, He uses YOUR arms! When Jesus wants to speak a word of encouragement, He uses YOUR voice! Your church is active, because YOU are active!
This week, take some time to notice all of the other people in your church, and see how they are being the Body of Christ in this community. Let Jesus use your voice to tell them how much they are appreciated and loved!
- Rev. Bill