Where is the Church?

Posted on March 16, 2013

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Where is ChurchAuthor: Ken Lytle

Where is the Church? 

As I served as an Adventist minister I was completely immersed in Church culture.  Just about everything I did was with and for the Church.  As a spiritual leader I made sure my church members had multiple opportunities to be trained as modern-day missionaries and had organized outreach events to get involved in.  I even once had my congregation break up into groups and leave the sanctuary during the church service and to go on a prayer walk in the community. 

Serving as a pastor allowed me to devote most of my time to religious activities, the study of theology, church politics, and mission development.  I enjoyed the years of service and would have liked them even more if I could have been involved in church planting.  Unfortunately, most of my time was spent serving the saints instead of successfully reaching the lost in the community. 

I am no longer working as a full-time minister.  The transition has been difficult.  Being an Adventist minister was my vocational and missional identity and I thought I would serve in this field until the day I died or Jesus’ second coming.  Now I work an 8:00am to 5:00pm – Monday through Friday job and say to myself, “Where is the Church?”

All of our local Adventist churches are traditional and stagnant (in my city).  A couple of them try holding traditional evangelistic meetings, but experience very little growth because of the “old school” methods being used. 

As an ex-pastor I don’t know what to do with myself.  I share Jesus in my workplace every chance I get and preach in local churches whenever asked.  BUT…… there is so much work to do in the local harvest that needs to be accomplished by a healthy church family that is focused on missions.  I have tried to reach out to the local conference and other Adventists, but haven’t been able to find anyone excited about church planting and mission work.

When it comes to church planting and mission development, I am ready to go.  I just need a few ministry partners and some seed money.  “Lord, let your will be done.”

In the mean time, where is the Church?  I don’t see it, feel it, or experience it.  We need local churches that are vibrant and alive.  We need local churches that are visitor-friendly, family-friendly, spiritually-balanced, and mission-driven.  We need local churches that are on fire for Jesus. 

Where is the Church?