Today I am flying on an airplane, and as I sat in the terminal waiting to board the airplane, I kept thinking about how everyone here is going somewhere, and the place that we all intersect is not the destination for any of us. The flow of people in and out of the gates at LAX is somewhat constant, people leaving and coming. Where are all of us going? Are people going to venture out and see their friends and family? Maybe they are going to that one last business trip before the Thanksgiving holiday? Just heading out for vacation? For nearly everyone there is a destination in mind. It just isn’t here.
This reminds me of the direction of the church today. Where are we going? Are we going to be a club for our inner circle of friends? Are we going to become shelters and food banks? Are we going to become commuter campuses that people from the surrounding suburbs come to congregate in the city once or twice a week? Are we going to be that place where we can confess and then go on with our lives afterward? Maybe we are even going to become the terminals that people pass through, but never think of as their destination?
Are any of these bad unto themselves? I don’t think so, I think each model of the church has some validity, but there are a few issues that we must all deal with in our models of “church”. If any of our churches lose sight of the fact that the Spirit is dynamic, then that particular church will become static, and stuck in the way that it has always done things. The Spirit is always moving and it is the Church’s responsibility to embody Christ’s mission for the world. Does our church feel stuck in it’s ways? If so, this is the fight we must fight. There must be a reason we do what we do, and that reason has to be Christ, and what we are called to do in scripture. Mission cannot be a program of the church, but must be the definition of the church.
I like the idea of the church as a terminal. Where we are at cannot be our destination, but rather we must get in line with that which God has called us. We are called to move and prepare God’s people for God’s Kingdom. Our work is never done, until God calls us home.