What if we, as the church, were invisible? What if we had no church buildings? No signs declaring a church location? No denominations or headquarters? No mega weekend gatherings? No Christian radio presence? No Christian stores? No Christian bumper stickers or other outward personal identifying stuff? What if the Yellow Pages didn’t have a “church” category and if you Googled “church” it came up with no search results? What if there was no such “thing” as the church? Would there still be a church?
What if we, as the church, were invisible? What if we simply lived the life of Jesus, speaking and displaying his love to the people we knew and came in contact with on a daily basis? What if we as followers of Jesus simply did just that? What if we gathered quietly in homes to break bread and encourage each other in Christ; where our goal would be to simply live as agents of God’s restoration, serving God and the “other” in real and tangible ways? What if church were not a weekend thing, but a people who radically lived behind the cultural scenes bringing God’s kingdom to earth?
What if God’s church was more like a tiny mustard seed instead of trying to be the biggest oak tree on the hill? What if Jesus’ church was more like a tiny amount of yeast…itself unnoticed, yet quietly transforming and restoring people and, in turn, culture? What if the Holy Spirit’s church sought to be the last and the least—a servant? What if the church daily sought self-death—dying to itself and loosing its life in order to find it—instead of doing all it can to save its life? What if God’s church chose to sit down in the least honored seat of society and culture, instead of clamoring and fighting for the most prestigious one? What if the church “thing” disappeared and all that was left was the church—people who realize they are forgiven and loved by God and who actively want to be a part of his restorative and healing work in the lives of others?
In other words, what if the church was invisible—or even better: visible, yet invisible? What if?
[Originally published 2008]