Church can mean lots of different things to different people.
For some it is a place you’d only visit on high days and holidays – Christmas and Easter, and maybe birth and death!
For others it is somewhere we see as the place we go to each Sunday morning to worship God with other believers.
But, far too often it is also better known for everything that is nothing to do with Jesus or the gospel!
From yoga to coffee shops, church has become so many things it simply isn’t supposed to be!
While there’s nothing wrong with using a coffee shop as a way of engaging with people in the community, when it becomes the most prominent thing, there’s something terribly wrong!
So I've called this Andy B video "A Busy Business".
So my family and I were out the other day. We did some shopping, and we're driving out to this supermarket, and on our way home, it's a beautiful drive, through the countryside in rural England, it's beautiful!
And then we start seeing signs for 'coffee shop'.
Now, if you're not in the UK, I don't know if this is this is just a British thing. But, erm, lots of churches here in the UK open up themselves as coffee shops in the week. They have toddler groups, and youth groups, and coffee shops. But our local church, like dozens that I've seen all around the the UK, erm, they seem to make more of the coffee shop than they do about church. And what really struck me, is there's all these signs for "Coffee Shop Open". But there's not a single sign for "Church Open".
I don't know about you, but that bothers me.
We used to be in a church many, many years ago. Er, oh, more than a decade ago, and I remember chatting to somebody about the fact they've got yoga in the church hall. And we said look yoga is is not a godly thing. As Christians we should not be entertaining yoga. It's an eastern religion. It's designed specifically with the purpose of getting under the radar of Christians, so that we think it's a really healthy thing to do, but it's not! It can never be so. It doesn't take more than a few searches on Google to realise what yoga is all about!
And we said, as a church, you shouldn't be having yoga in your church hall.
"Ah well, the thing is, without the yoga, this church wouldn't be standing here today."
We have a real problem here in the UK where we seem to think that we, by our busyness, somehow, can, can conjure up life in our churches.
The Church of Jesus Christ will never die!
The church buildings or church communities, they can raise, and fall and all the rest of it.
But let's make sure that when we're being busy for Jesus, that we're busy building his Kingdom, and not trying to sustain, or grow, or build our own.
I would love to have a drive one day "Church Open, come and pray". "We'll listen to you." "Come and get some food, we're a church. We love you."
I would love to see signs like that, and less coffee shop with banners.
Nothing wrong with the coffee shop in a church. A friend of mine does a coffee shop. It's fantastic. It's a way of engaging with people in the church.
The signs I saw the other day, they're not to engage people with Jesus, or church life. It's a revenue stream for the church, and it's a way of showing the church is still not dead.
But the Church of Jesus Christ cannot be dead!
So let's be bold, and courageous.
Let's have coffee shops with people, but let's remember the business of church is not providing business or keeping us busy.
The business of church is building God's Kingdom.
Just a thought.
Written by Andy B