We are called “a church without walls.” We don’t have the traditional church, a building with a steeple or stained glass. The common conception is that when people think of a church, they identify it with a building.
But the church isn’t a building. This church—New Hope—is YOU! Church services are not the extent of our Christianity. As wonderful as the service might be, that is not the essence of our faith. It’s meant to inspire it; it’s not the end of it.
Services are the beginning of our faith, not the final reach of it. And they are meant to equip us. The most important part of our service happens at the end of it: when you leave and apply the faith that God has given or equipped you with here. It’s about equipping us to go out and live it! That’s where it’s put on display for the rest of the world to see. That’s where you really represent the Lord.
The Lord tells us how to pray, especially as a last days’ church:
“Then He said to them, the harvest truly is great but the laborers are few, therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2).
God is saying the potential for harvest is great in the last days. That’s why we must be praying for more laborers to bring it in. In fact, one of the signs of the end times is a huge harvest:
“And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Put in your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe’” (Rev. 14:15).
There’s a bunch of people that need your help and the harvest is ripe. We’ve got to get the Church out of the church (buildings and facilities, even activities) in order to be the Church! The Church is designed to be equipped within our walls but not to remain there. We’ve got to get into the harvest like we’ve never done before.
- The Church is Most Effective When It Gets Out of the Church
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20).
The word “commission” means to be sent. Jesus is sending us out into the world. God is saying that the reason for the Church is that we’ve got to go out into the harvest field.
He is also saying, “I am already there in that harvest field and I am saying, ‘Come, follow Me.’” He is not saying, “Go and I will watch you!” Jesus promises us that He will be there.
The only way that others can define our faith as credible is not by what we do inside the church, but rather by what we do outside in our communities. That’s the only way.
If we are to be followers of Christ, we need to be in the harvest, where He is. We become ineffective when we think we’ve done our duty by coming to church. We have to take our faith out into the world!
- We Determine the Size of the Harvest Field for Our Generation
The more we advance into the harvest field, the bigger the harvest. The deeper we walk out into the world and into the harvest fields, the further God has a chance to work and start reaping more souls for the Kingdom. We determine that!
In other words, the harvest is harvestable where laborers are present. If there are no laborers in the field, then the world can potentially be a wonderful harvest, but it is not harvestable. If you remove the laborers, nothing happens. And this harvest field will not self-reap, but if not reaped, it will self-destruct.
We determine how big the harvest can be when we find creative ways to meet the world’s needs. It’s the only way our faith is credible.
Are You Jesus?
The world doesn’t need to see us, but they do need to see a reflection of Jesus. God wants us to be reflective surfaces and the more “surfaces” there are, the better others can see His light and plot their way back home. We have to remember that each of us is the Church. We’re more effective when we get out of the church building. And sometimes, we really are the only Jesus people will see in this world.
As God inspires our faith here in church, let’s prepare for the most important part: going out into the harvest field. Let’s answer one of Jesus’ prayers to send out laborers.