About 9-10 years ago, the leadership of Calvary sent me off to spend some time seeking God for direction for Calvary. I visited a handful of churches, sat down with a couple of pastors, and prayed. At some point I sensed God giving me one phrase, “Build a church without walls.” Church without walls? I’m thinking, “God what in the world does that mean?” Every church I had ever joined had been a church with walls. So I searched on the internet. :)
Google was just getting started so I’m not even sure I googled it. But anyway at that time I found three different organizations using that phrase, church without walls. A church in Texas. A church in Florida. A small group organization. I just googled “church without walls” and today there are over 30,000 hits! Here is what I love about that… I didn’t write a book. If one of those other three organizations wrote a “church without walls” book, I never read it. I believe it’s just one of those God-things. Something was in the heart of God that he wanted to get out, so he put it on the hearts of a lot of church leaders.
What was on his heart? I want the church to get out from it’s walls and into the world, so that people will know the heart of God is for them.
So for the last 10 years or so, we (Calvary) have been working out what it looks like to be a church without walls, helping people connect in life-giving relationships with Christ, with each other and with the world around us. Not the best church in the world, but the best church for the world. We want to help people find the uncommon life without walls that God has planned for each of us.
Yesterday I ran across this parable — written by a guy who is involved in campus ministry and attends Calvary — it’s a great picture of the church without walls.
Here is the link — Parable of the Castle and the Campfire.