What’s the church here for, anyway?

by Wayne Schwab

I was the interim pastor in a small church in Essex in upstate New York on Lake Champlain.  For some reason, Essex hosted meetings of the International Bagpipe Organization.

A piper walked through the church hall.  He asked, “What’s the church here for anyway?”

I answered, “God is most interested in how we live Monday to Saturday.  Sunday is to help us to do it better.”

He liked the answer.  I’d been thinking this way for some time.  At last I had said it.

That’s a key to living God’s mission every day – especially to what a church should be doing.

We say a church needs to be friendly and open to anyone who walks through its doors.

— I now say a church really needs to help everyone walking through its doors to live better on Monday because they were there on Sunday.

We say a church should offer community – very important in a world that can be very lonely.

—  I now say a church really needs to help you to build community in your worlds outside the church.

We say a church needs vitality – to be alive within its walls and alive in its town or city.

— I now say a church really needs to be known for how its members are making the world around them more loving and more just wherever they are 24/7/365.