Many Christians understand that the Church is called to impact the world. Yet, most of the church’s resources (time, energy and money) are spent on the maintaining the organization. Few resources are spent on programs that effectively reach the world around. Many churches have a desire to reach the world but when it comes down to it are more maintenance driven than mission driven.
Consider the Greek word for church, ekklēsia (ἐκκλησία). The root word kaleō means to call, the prefix ek means out. So, by the very definition of the word, the church is comprised of those who are called out, not in! And, we are called to the public arena.
Although the word ekklēsia is used by Paul and others to refer to a gathering of believers, the term is not used exclusive of the church. Thayer’s Greek Dictionary defines ekklēsia as “a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place.”2. Back then messengers with news would travel through the city calling citizens out to public meetings where they would declare the news and answer questions. I imagine that these gatherings to place in many settings, at city gates, public squares, courtyards as well as houses. We must purposefully and prayerfully make choices to affect the public arena.
I led a home group at the Anaheim Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Members of two different christian bands attended the group. So, I rented the amphitheater an a local park in Orange, CA where we put on a concert. One of the women in our group (Tori Lee) felt led to approach a group of young girls who were sitting on the lawn listening to the music. She explained the gospel to them and all five of girls asked Jesus to be their Savior and Lord. How wonderful! That day five souls entered the kingdom of God because one small group chose to go outside of the walls of the church and enter the public arena.
At that same church in Anaheim, My home group, and another home group joined together to play softball at a local park. We invited people we met at the park to play with us. I counted five people, not from our church, that we ministered to. It all happened naturally as we built relationships with those we met in the public arena.
Reaching the world around us is easier than most Christians believe it to be. Christians just need to be willing to invest, time, energy and money. As we live authentic Christian lifestyles and demonstrate God’s love, many people become open to the gospel.
© 2016 Alan Garrett, alsgarrett.org