Tonight, I’m sitting in our sunroom with all the windows open, and I’m thinking about our summer. It was packed with meetings, surgeries, trips, and camps. But it was also packed with people. I loved every minute of youth group this summer. While our house will never be quite perfect enough for guests (I’m my mother’s child), students came over almost every week this summer and played yard games and made s’mores. They don’t count as guests because they’d probably eat crackers out of a sock if I served them that way. I don’t serve them that way. I remember sitting on the deck one evening as a game went on in our backyard thinking This. This is the church.
Today I ordered a farmhouse style sign for our dining room. It reads:
“They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. Acts 2:46”
I have this verse memorized because I looked at approximately 400 styles on Etsy. I absolutely love this passage in scripture because it describes our view on ministry to a T. One of the things that drew me to Patrick was his passion and heart for relational ministry. As Christians, our lives are meant to be lived out together. The church in Acts did not begin as a building where people met on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. Actually, Acts 2 says the people met everyday in their homes and broke bread together.The church was a group of people who cared for one another, provided for those in need, and spent a great deal of time together. To me, church is not defined as a worship service. Yes, these things help us express our relationship with one another and with God. Yes, sermons and Bible studies deepen our faith. But shouldn’t our entire life reflect Christ to others? The purpose of the church is to live out what Jesus has called us to do for the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s relationships with other believers and the community that makes the church the church. It’s people. It’s fellowship. It’s a lifestyle.
Church is coffee with a friend who has had a rough week.
Church is watching your neighbor’s kids while she is at another job interview.
Church is worshipping together with brothers and sisters in Christ.
Church is sacrificing game day to clean your neighbor’s yard after a storm.
Church is sitting with the family who sits alone in the pew.
Church is spending your last dollars on someone else’s meal.
Church is carrying someone’s pain with them instead of watching from the sidelines.
Church is inviting friends over and sharing a meal.
Church is relationship, accountability, and love lived out.
Through some great moments and some pretty low times, Patrick and I have been fortunate to have people beside us. During one of our lowest weeks, I received prayer, flowers, meals, phone calls, care packages, a 9PM apple crisp delivery during a thunderstorm, and several heart to heart conversations.
And that, my friends, is the church.