A few years ago I heard Reggie McNeal talk about healthy churches operating as airports. It left a rather large impression on me. In fact, I think about it every time I ride on an airplane.
If you go to an airport and ask someone, “So where you are traveling to today?” you will never hear someone say, “Oh, I’m not going anywhere. I’m here just wandering the terminal to admire the incredible design of the gates, to enjoy the amazing food at the restaurants and to enjoy the comfortable chairs. After a while, I’ll probably just get in my car and head home after that.”
In fact, if you heard that, you’d probably call security.
The point is, of course, that airports are intended to take you somewhere. The role of the airport is to make sure you connect to some place else.
That’s the role of the local church. God has given the task to pastors and elders – all of us, ultimately – to make sure you make your connection with Christ and let the Spirit send you somewhere. Terminals have a very significant role in your journey. Without them, you would be unable to make your connection. But it is not the end goal. Sadly enough, however, many people think it is the end goal and miss the point entirely!
God didn’t send his Son to earth to live and die on our behalf so he could call you to a church to just sit there and enjoy the terminal. He has called you, me – all of us – to a particular airport in order to make sure you make your connection so you are sent somewhere else on the journey that you were called to be on.
And if the church you are currently in isn’t helping you make your connection, it’s time to step up and do something about it.