In the Old Testament, God’s people (Israel) were blessed to be a blessing. God was to be their God, but also promised to reveal Himself to the world through them. But, they were also charged with being a holy (and thus, separate) people. In order for the world to come to God and come to know God, they had to “Come and See” through Israel.
This is how most of us (in America) have “done church” for a long time now. We’ve built great ministries and programs and talked about inviting people to come and see and hopefully meet Jesus Christ in our churches. Increasingly, church has been geared toward this model, even with the extra sensitivities given to the “seeker model” and understanding exactly who we would hope to attract.
In its best form this is what I mean by being a LIGHTHOUSE CHURCH. (but here’s a longer definition).
But, in the New Testament, the model changed radically! Jesus said, “Come and see,” to gather disciples and followers to himself, but his model for ministry and the charge he and the Holy Spirit gave the New Testament Church was to “Go and Tell!” No longer was the world supposed to come to and through God’s people. Now, God’s people were supposed to get up and get out to the world. Holiness still meant “distinct and set apart” but now the saints were to be in the world and not of the world.
We are still learning how to do this, but this is what it means to be a SEARCHLIGHT CHURCH (but here’s a longer definition). Jesus’ mission and God’s heart is to seek and save the lost, and that means carrying the light of Christ into the darkness. Jesus not only said, “I am the light of the world”; he also said, “You are the light of the world.” Let’s continue inviting folks to church and Christ, but let’s sink our hearts and hands into getting up and getting out… let’s go and tell.