Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Where is Your Church?

As a Pastor I’m often asked where the church I pastor is. Where is St Luke’s? In many ways it is a logical question, but at the same time, a question that misses the point in regards to what the church is. We’ve become culturally conditioned to equate a church with a building. St Luke’s doesn’t have a building or a facility. A church isn’t simply a building. Where is St Luke’s then?

A church is a community of people who’ve responded to God’s call to live the Way of Jesus with faith and trust in him. So on a Sunday you’ll find our church gathered at the Mount Sports Clubrooms (you’re welcome anytime). The rest of the week however you’ll find our church scattered here and there throughout the Tauranga community. Young and old, students, stay home mums or dads, doctors, sparkies, dentists, teachers, builders, volunteers, those looking for work, those retired from work. You’ll find us here, there, and everywhere. A Church is therefore not a building, but rather a community that gathers and scatters to live out the call to follow Jesus.
We gather to celebrate the work of God in our lives and world. We gather around God’s Word, around the Lord’s Table and in his presence. We don’t gather simply to watch or to consume a ‘service,’ rather we gather to participate in community. We gather to stand alongside each other, to love one another, to pray for one another, to encounter God in one another, to encourage one another, and to greet and welcome the stranger and the sojourner. We call this ‘churching’ and we gather to ‘church’ each other; it’s a verb!

We’re not always gathered though. We scatter. We scatter embracing the challenge of living as those that bear witness to the life changing reality of God in the nooks and crannies of everyday life. We attempt to live as representatives of love and grace in our work places, where we study, in sports teams, to the stranger and in our various friendship circles; everywhere and anywhere life takes us. We are called to be the church Monday through Saturday, to at times shine boldly as a light and to at times flavour subversively as salt the world around us, with creative and authentic proclamation of the Good News of Jesus. 

You’re welcome to join us when we gather this Sunday. We’re a community not a building.

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