I’ve often mentioned how I’ve learned a great deal in my life about everything by watching television. As I’ve been reflecting recently about some things that I’ve watched over the years, my attention was drawn to how I’ve always been a fan of the original Star Trek and quite a few of the series spin-offs. One of them in particular took me some time to actually get used to, simply because I was so accustomed to the traveling space explorer concept of the earlier Star Trek incarnations. As I reflected on the phenomenon of the series Deep Space -9, it got me to really seeing what the four walls of the church is truly meant to be for the believer.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the series Deep Space 9, it was a space station outpost, sometimes also referred to as a waystation, where many of the numerous Starfleet ships could stop between stints of their mission for refueling, repairs and reprieve.
The writer of Hebrews makes it abundantly clear that it is imperative that the saints do not forsake the need to come together for worship. However, it is also abundantly clear that it was charge of Christ that the saints should go throughout all the earth with mission of enlarging the Kingdom by making disciples.
Many saints have become either content to dwell inside the four walls of the church either because it is a comfort zone, or been made to feel guilty of any appearance of an absence will give an impression of a fallen state or lack of commitment to the local assembly.
The early church faced great persecution as a catalyst for them to “go into all the world”. In the coming shift for the church it is not persecution that will once again be the catalyst propels the Church beyond the four walls, but the thrust of the Holy Spirit‘s leading, just as it was the Spirit that led Jesus into the wilderness to be tested of the devil (see Matthew 4:1). There will come a sense that the true work of the Body must take place outside the church as we’ve been called to serve.
How this connects to Star Trek? To this end, we find that the four walls of the church as being a place where the saints come to be refueled, rebuilt, re-equipped and refreshed, in the same manner that a ship would that comes to a way station, and then redeploy for the next leg of it’s assignment. Every Saint has their home base and is called to support it, but our assignments are such now that call to make disciples and manifest the restoration of all things cannot effectively come to fruition if we stay confined to a base station or port.
We must see farther, dare to reach more, boldly go where we’ve yet gone before so that we can do the greater works that has been prophesied that we must accomplish. If we are to see things really take off, remaining tethered will make the church an invalid and impotent, having a form of godliness, but denying the power we were meant to operate in. Let us prepare for the coming shift and have a view of the church that keeps us mobile and lively.
Preparation consists of discovering your personal call to service as a servant and understanding how that fits into the greater story God is wanting to reveal in the redemptive work we’ve been called to fulfill. It also means becoming comfortable in being uncomfortable. If we are to draw people’s attention to Christ like lights upon a hill, then remaining in the four walls equates to being a lamp hidden under a basket (Matthew 5:15). Therefore, our view of church must change so that it becomes the place where we are built up, charged up, and grow up so that we can go forth.
QUESTION: How are you viewing the coming shift of the Church?