The first church I attended in Hawaii after becoming a Christian was small and close knit. The pastor was ebullient and energetic and he had a twinkle in his eye whenever he spoke. It was the perfect setting for me during the four years I returned to Hawaii for medical school. After I left and relocated to California, I heard that the church had grown and tripled in size and had moved to an abandoned department store. I was happy that God was blessing the church and the pastor.
The years passed and I lost touch with the pastor and members who were my friends. The passing of a close mutual friend, brought me in touch with the pastor as he sought to inform me of the sad event. I was grateful to reconnect with him after more than 25 years. As we reminisced over the phone, I asked him what happened to the church. “Brother,” he began. “The church has been dispersed!” For over a year, the church worked to transition the leadership to a new pastor. But at the last moment, this new pastor declined. The existing leadership of the church was old and there was no left to take over. After much prayer, the pastor and board decided to close the church. At the last service, the pastor commanded the members, “Go out and bless others and other churches!”
As I reflected upon the story, I was saddened at first. But I realized that this is what the Bible commands us to do. The pastor was more concerned about the spiritual lives of the church members than creating a legacy for his church. He later worked to help place all of his members in other Bible believing churches throughout Hawaii. He didn’t leave a building. He left a legacy of faith.
Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.
Acts 1:11 (ESV)
The church is more than a building and a pastor. It is the Body of Christ on this earth. It is empowered by the Holy Spirit. As members of the Body, we are commanded to go and make disciples of all nations. And if we are in a church that disperses, we are not to be standing around and gazing at Heaven, waiting for Jesus to return, nor should we wallow in self-pity. We are commanded to go out into the world.
Every day we live in Jesus Christ, we should go out and bless other churches. We should go out and bless everyone we meet!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.