Let me just say it that, yes, gatherings of God’s people are important. But here is the problem. We continue to divide up life in our thinking between sacred/holy and non-sacred/non-holy. And, our time spent in a church location or service or gathering (even a house church gathering) is seen as somehow more sacred than our time spent outside of that place, service, or gathering.
This false, dichotomous way of thinking robs us of our everyday identity as God’s, Spirit-filled people and it diminishes our true purpose as light and salt in a world that desperately needs both.
Changing my thinking about ‘what is church’ is more than recognizing that the church (ekklesia, God’s called-out people) can meet anywhere, even informally in homes. The power comes when God’s called-out people become His Everywhere Church - taking His life and light and Spirit, and presence into every situation that we step into with the same excitement and reverence we might have for any so-called sacred meeting.
God is with us. This is the power and truth of the work of the cross. The Spirit of God is with us in every setting and situation we step into. The ‘church’ is the Spirit-filled Jesus-followers who recognize the supernatural presence of God at work in all of life and in every situation:
- A conversation in a grocery story - Everywhere Church is happening
- Sitting in a whirlpool in my gym and someone shares that his wife is having surgery next week - Everyday Church is happening
- At home praying with my wife - Everyday Church is happening
- Lunch with a spiritually-minded friend - Everyday Church is happening
- Serving at the homeless food line - Everyday Church is happening
Everywhere that we go, the Spirit of God is seeking to transform, illuminate, revelate, draw people, heal souls, and more. It is not that we do not believe this, it is that we often draw a distinction between what we see as ‘mundane’ life and what we view as sacred life. We approach it differently and, therefore, we have different expectations and levels of faith as we go.
Missiologist Leslie Newbegin says it this way: “It is in the ordinary secular business of the world that the sacrifices of love and obedience are to be offered to God. It is in the context of secular affairs that the mighty power released into the world through the work of Christ is to be manifested.”
But I would take this even one step further. There simply is no secular business. When we see God, the world, and ourselves correctly, every moment is a sacred one, infused with God’s life and presence and purposes, calling us moment by moment to enjoy and step into the surrendered, supernatural life that is available… everywhere.