I saw a very interesting tweet from someone I follow on twitter but don't know anything about, Karl Ingersoll. This is what he tweeted:
I think that is a great thought for us. Don't we seem to think that we are really only "the church" when we gather on Sunday? We might not say it that way but we treat it that way. Sunday is church day, "the Lord's Day" and the church is manifested visibly by our "worship services". We "go to church" as if by being in a particular place at a particular time we are being the church as opposed to any other time when we are just being Christians walking anonymously in the world. We think we are obeying Christ and following His commandments when we "go to church" and "tithe" but that is not what He commanded us. His commands to His redeemed sheep boil down to "go" and "do". Go to the lost, go to the world, go to the poor and the hungry. Do for them what the love of Christ has done for you, i.e. show mercy and love to those who are never going to repay you. "Sit", "watch", "listen" are not commands of Christ and when we assume that sitting. watching and listening is the sum of the Christian life we will find it hard to preach, wash feet and visit the widow and orphan.
I think Karl is right on the money here. We cannot merely function as the church, assuming that we even do, only or even primarily when we gather on Sunday. The church is a seven day a week life that transcends rituals and borders and organizations. When I read people saying things like: be in the Lord's house with the Lord's people on the Lord's day this weekend, it makes me crazy because it gives the illusion that one day a week one particular subset of God's people meeting in a particular location is the center of your Christian universe. Instead of just drawing people in, the church should be sending people out and I have come to see that when we are out in the world representing the King, that is when we truly are being "the church".
More on this later. Now I have to "get ready for church" myself!