Years ago, I was able to travel to France and tour both the cities and the countryside. Among the amazing chateaus and incredible restaurants, we also visited cathedral after cathedral, including the incredible Notre Dame cathedral. The thing that struck me most about each of those incredible cathedrals was this: they were primarily museums.
Some of them still hold mass from time to time, but almost all of them are filled day after day by tourists, taking photos of the architecture and sheer scope of the houses of worship. In very few cases, the incredible cathedrals of Europe remain centers of worship and hubs for the mission of Jesus.
As we are working through the early parts of the book of Acts together as a church, I’m reminded once again that Jesus gave his mission to the early church to be a movement, the “Called-Out Ones” with the good news of the gospel. While places and things were almost immediately helpful in that mission, they should never be a distraction from the mission.
I’ve heard it shared before that there are primarily four types of churches. Perhaps you’ve seen or heard of a version of each of these before:
Museum Church – In a museum church, the life is gone. What remains are the “good ‘ol days” and some outdated structures. While there may have been thriving days of ministry in the past, the past is where the life remains. Now, the church is only a memory of what was, not what is.
Maintenance Church – A maintenance church still holds on to a semblance of life, but it holds on for dear life. This church has lost its focus on reaching people, and instead focuses on not losing any ground they have taken in their community. They often struggle to see the value in other local churches and aren’t likely to change anything anytime soon, as it would risk losing what got them here.
Ministry Church – A ministry church has plenty of life and even excitement, but its focus is built around their ability to get people to come to them. A one-stop shop for all things Christian, a ministry church spends its energies drawing folks to "a place where" instead of empowering the church to be "a people who."
Mission Church – A mission church recognizes that the mission was always about reaching people far from God with the gospel, and spends its energies trying to find new ways to reach others and empower their people to be influencers for the gospel in their life circles. They recognize that the mission field is not inside the church, but outside the church, and they pray for God to move through them to reach those outside of their walls.
Every local church is part of Jesus’ church. He loves them all. But not all of them are on mission. Our desire as a church is to continue to become more and more missional all the time, praying that God would help us reach our generation in every way He desires with the resources we have and the time He gives us. Pray with me today that Cornerstone will be a Mission Church!
This weekend, we are talking about Acts 3 and a man who found healing in Jesus. He is still the Great Healer, and he calls us to be healers alongside him. See you Sunday!
Yours and His,