Where is the church?

by Dave Walker

by Demi Prentiss

Clergy Coaching Network recently posted this cartoon on its Facebook page.  The cartoon, by Dave Walker, is used as an illustration in Steve Aisthorpe’s book The Invisible Church: Learning from the Experiences of Churchless Christians.

I was struck with the postings from commenters, who argued back and forth about what being the church actually means. And while people were willing to concede that the church is not a building, the notion that an individual, on their own out in the world, might be the church was apparently quite challenging.

In a world that practically idolizes individualism, how did we decide that a Christian alone is incapable of being an ambassador of Christ? How did we surrender agency to the institution, which was completely unknown to the founder? How can we interpret “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” and “You will be my witnesses” if the individual is incapable of being the church?

The church gathered for worship is a vital tool, equipping each person to leave worship and go into the world, to serve as the church scattered, like salt or yeast, to transform their surroundings.  What do you need to empower you to be the church, wherever you find yourself?

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