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Would they miss us?

January 5, 2009

by Pastor Billy Wallace, Dassel Church of Christ, Dassel

Do you ever wonder what people will say about you when you’re gone? I’ve sat through and conducted several funerals, and sometimes I think to myself, “What will they say about me? Will anyone miss me?”

I think it’s important for the church to ask that same question. If we just kind of vanished and our church no longer existed – would anyone miss us?

Oh, sure, they would wonder for a few days – “what happened to that church that used to be there?” – but how long would that last?

Here are some questions we can ask to possibly determine if we would be missed or not:

1. Have we been a good neighbor?

Remember when Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke, chapter 10? He was asked the question, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus then told the famous story of the Good Samaritan. The overall point of the story was that your neighbor was anyone you came in contact with that had a need.

Is the church a good neighbor? Do we do more than just speak of concern for our neighbors and actually seek to live it out? It’s easy for a church to become inward-focused and be concerned only with the activities on the church calendar.

A church in Fort Worth, TX decided that they were going to be a good neighbor and get involved in their community. Their outreach was so effective that the police chief called the pastor and told him that although crime was on the rise all over the city of Fort Worth, the crime rate in the neighborhood around their church facility was down. That’s called being a good neighbor.

2. How bright is our light?

Listen to the words in Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. “

Jesus called Himself “the Light of the World.” We are not Jesus, but we are to reflect Jesus in the way we treat others around us.

I went to a conference once and was challenged to begin to minister like Jesus. This really took some radical change on my part. I thought I was ministering like Jesus, but when you think of how He treated people, how he thought about material things versus people – I had a long way to go.

Maybe the church has a long way to go in this, also. Maybe we’ve become so much like what we are expected to be by the world’s standards, that we’re not much like Jesus anymore. I’ve found that many “religious” people are not Christ-like. I’ve found this to be the issue with many unbelievers. They’ve been treated just as badly or worse by church people than anyone else. Maybe as you read this, you can relate to this.

Would we be missed if our church disappeared? I don’t know the answer to that. I sure hope so, but the jury is still out.

Maybe as you go about your week, you can begin to think of ways to make sure that your church would be sorely missed. Maybe we just start by learning what Jesus said and did.

When that Roman soldier said, “Surely, this was the Son of God,” we know that Jesus left His mark on the world. The fact that we are still worshipping Him over 2,000 years later confirms it.