A building is not a church. But a church can meet in a building. It can also leave that building, as the CCC family did on the weekend of March 15-16. Weeks prior to our Church Has Left the Building outreach, Mason Stewart, CCC’s Director of Young Adults, penned a beautiful meditation on what Christ has done for us, and what we are called to do in response.
"The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that as least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem,bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed" (Acts 5:12-16).
It was a new age. The Son of God had come, ripped open the curtain and exposed the Holy of Holies to fisherman, tax collectors, and prostitutes. And so the Church left the building.
The Spirit of God, no longer bound, came roaring out of His cave, like a bear in mid-spring, searching for a new dwelling. He found it in men and women. And so the Church left the building.
When the Spirit of God left that ancient temple – left it weatherworn and crumbling in some places – ritual, empty ritual, came in and took His place. And so the Church left the building.
The vanity of man, flaunted itself from a safe distance through the protection of those four walls. But the people stopped paying attention. They had seen something that was truly captivating. It was true power. It was true love. The Creator met the created out on that front porch. And so the Church had left the building.
The prideful were on the inside; the humble and hungry were on the outside. The need-met served themselves, while the needy served each other. The people. The broken. The sick.
And the oppressed were on the outside. And so the Spirit and His Church left the building. The Son of God left heaven. He's come to you. He's healed you. He drew you near to Himself and He whispered in your ear, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
He gave all that He had in Him – every last drop of blood – for the harassed and helpless, for His sheep who had no shepherd.
He asks you, "Do you love me? Feed my lambs."
He asks you, "Do you love me? Take care of my sheep."
He asks, "Do you love me? Will you, too, leave that building?
On the homepage of our Led to Lead Leadership Conference website, Pastor Keith Cowart wrote: “God wants to use church leaders to influence and shape the culture of a faith community in ways that maximize its ability to live out its values and realize its mission. To that end, Led to Lead offers main sessions and breakouts that not only inspire, but offer concrete examples of that kind of leadership in action.”
Little did Keith know that one of his main session topics – “Building a Culture of Leadership Development” – would be demonstrated in such a highly visible way during the conference.
When the event began on Thursday, February 26, Keith had developed a sore throat. As the day wore on and he delivered three main session talks, his condition worsened. By Friday morning, he could barely speak.
Enter Kelli Wommack, CCC’s Pastor of Leadership Development. Kelli is truly a product of CCC’s leadership development culture, and she stepped in admirably for Keith and delivered an outstanding message on the topic on Friday morning.
Similarly, Pastor Derrick Shields pinch-hit for Keith in the closing session on Friday night, challenging the audience to not just “go to church, but start being the church” and calling for God’s people to stand as one regardless of denominational and doctrinal differences.
More than 100 people representing over 40 churches and ministries attended the event. In seeing Keith, Kelli and Derrick lead as they did, they witnessed a key component of CCC’s culture being played out before their very eyes.
The CCC Blog is a collection of writings and images from staff members and guest contributors, all pointing to the extraordinary life made possible by a relationship with Jesus.