On the way to Marietta Monday; I was listening to a message by Darrin Patrick. The message was titled The Church For The City. What jumped out to me was: why is your church where it is? What is your church doing for your community? This goes beyond just helping somebody buy groceries, contributing to a charity, or giving gifts to a family for Christmas. If your church shut its doors, closed up shop, ceased to exist…would your community even give a care? This probably has a lot to do with the fact that churches have allowed culture to influence them instead of churches influencing culture. This requires churches to look at the reasons for why they truly exist. If a church’s sole purpose for existing is just for the congregation and there is no effect on the community, I am not sure that the community would care if the church disappeared. It is possible to influence the community, do evangelism, do outreach without having strings attached. For instance, it would not be good for me to help a man open his own coffee shop but I give him the stipulation that he must drive his customers to my church or hang my flyers in his place of business. I want the man to have his business, I want him to do well. I want him to help the community prosper. I can be a part of him and his business without forcing him to rep my church. If the man wants to rep the church or the fact that the church helped him, let him do that on his own accord. If the church gets new members or visitors from the coffee shop, that is just a bonus. Why would it be so hard for a church to let an artist display their work in the church or use the building to hold a small gallery? If the church is only used for normal services, why can’t a church planter use the building on a Friday or Saturday? The thing that hit me the hardest from this message was: If the church was gone would the community weep? Would the community be grieved because the church was no longer there? I hope that no matter what church I am at that I would be a catalyst for impacting the community. I hope that I will influence my community so much that if my church shut its doors, the community would truly miss us. I want my church to impact peoples’ lives both inside and outside of the church building. I truly believe that is what Jesus would want me to do. What do you think? Hit up the comments.