Is there a difference between "doing church" and "being church"? There are those out there today who are trying to pit these two things against each other. I believe that to be a false dichotomy. We are called to do and to be both.
The norm for many churches today is for church to only happen when people gather in particular places at prescribed times to engage in planned services or programmed activities. And while church definitely does happen in a sanctuary on Sunday morning or in a classroom on Wednesday night, church can also happen wherever and whenever the Spirit chooses the people of God to be. The church is present even where two or three are gathered in Jesus name.
Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide .... These things I command you, that you will love one another.” (John 15:16-17)
Jesus calls us to not only come together on a regular basis to the church building, but also to go out into the world, to leave the places and programs we’re most comfortable with in order to share our faith and spread the Gospel.
To heed this call of Christ takes faith - it calls us to believe and to trust in the fact that He is the One who guides and directs His Church. This is Witness, Mercy, and Life Together at work in the church. Not another stewardship program or evangelism project, but the people of God loving and caring for one another and for the world around them. Listening, loving, forgiving, and proclaiming with the living voice of the Gospel that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. It's the voice of Jesus living in the hearts of His people. Now that is Church!
So when we “do” church this weekend, let’s see it as an opportunity for God to equip His people to “be” the Church everyday. Let us come together to worship Him, sing His praise, hear His Word, receive His forgiveness, and share in the joy of fellowship with one another. Then let us go out into the world to be His people - His Church!