This past week, both my parents, Jim and Pat, celebrated birthdays. Both of them are in their 70’s and are 3 years and 3 days apart in age. As I visited with them on the phone this past week, I was struck once again both by the privilege of being raised by godly parents and how they continue to model what it means to live surrendered to Christ and his mission. My parents have never been on the official paid staff of a church but have poured themselves into every church they’ve been at, serving as volunteers in the ministries of the church and living “missional” lives in the community.
They have served under many pastors in several churches over the years. All of these pastors come and go, but my parents keep serving, keep loving, keep building relationships and in my humble opinion are the backbone of their church. They have not slowed down but it seems to me have picked up momentum, displaying lives of servanthood and stewardship in every aspect of their lives. I have often thought, wow, what if one could develop a church loaded full of “Jim and Pat Mindlings” what a difference a church could make in a community! It would be nothing short of revolutionary! And yet, that is exactly what Jesus had in mind! Living out the gospel in everyday lives, engaged with their neighborhood, their community, “being” the church, not “going” to church.
May I challenge us all to stop “going to church” and grow in “being the church”? What could happen in our communities if we did?!