The Blog

Thoughts and Musings from City of Refuge Church

The Church Mission

When you think of companies like Apple, Ford, Levi’s, Blue Bell, or Nike what comes to mind? Easily, a one-word description of their product would be something you say and see instantaneously. But what comes to mind when you think of the church? I’m not sure I want to know the answer. In America, there is a bad taste in the mouth of many regarding the church. There is so much the church is known for that it is difficult to pinpoint the reason for its existence. And what the church is known for is typically based on divisiveness rather than unity.

On October 2nd, 2006, a man entered an Amish school in Lancaster, PA and shot ten children and then himself. What was so powerful about this event is that hours afterward the Amish community was contacting his wife to console this man’s family. They also attended his funeral and had openly forgiven the murderer. The Amish are separatist and often made fun of by the common citizen. Why can’t the church be known for the same love and forgiveness, yet being inclusive?

The church is a people group, not a building or business organization. The mission and existence of the church is to represent God as a community within communities all over the world. Many people have God all wrong because of both misrepresentations of people who claim to follow God and bad teaching about God. Observing the life of Christ reveals the heart of God. The church is to be a taste of the life of Christ in all cultures and tribes.

Yet, for this to occur, we all need a heart transplant. When someone goes through the surgery of an actual transplant, they also experience rehabilitation afterward. New diet, exercise, denying previous unhealthy lifestyles. This is a good metaphor for what must take place within our soul. Christ must live within us and create a new birth, a new us. A metamorphosis noticeable to all over time.

When the church is truly reborn, they begin to gather with arms locked looking outward at those hurting, broken, restless, isolated, and on their way to a heart attack of the soul. When we are affected by the heart of Christ, we ache for our neighbors, co-workers, and family members that don’t know God’s love. It will keep us up at night. We will also live so tightly knit as a community that our lives will seem to unravel and collapse if we walk away from the gathering. Our decisions will be interdependent like a family. We will not experience sorrow from denying the gathering because the church shames and shuns us but because we are desperate to experience that grace, forgiveness, and love that was like heaven on earth.

The church is commanded love God with all our energy and concentration and to sacrificially love others around us [Matthew 22:37-39]. The church is also commissioned to go out to tell about His love and teach people His standards affecting multiplication of the church throughout the world [Matthew 28:19-20]. The church, however, is not loving God or others well when she [the church] does not live like Christ and tell others about Christ. The command is nullified by the negating of the commission.

Has the Spirit of God transplanted your heart? Do you wake up every day asking Christ to point you in the direction to go? Are you praying with a trembling in your soul for those that are wounded by life?

At COR, we are seeking to be a part of the solution and not the problem. We no longer want to wake up and fulfill our own agenda while also expecting God to bless it. We desire for God’s love to permeate us so much that we must share it with others. Will you join us!