It was sobering for me to look at the picture. My daughter was on a mission trip to Africa and sent this picture. I held the picture of a large green tree with about 30 smiling faces from South Sudan. They were at church. The tree was their church. No building. No walls. No organ. No carpet. No problem.
I stand amazed at Christians. In recent days churches have faced many different catastrophes, such as floods, shootings, and fire. Yet, on the next Sunday morning there is a group, sitting in lawn chairs with their Bibles, singing Amazing Grace from memory. They have learned the secret of having church with no money.
The first church was gathered on the shores of the Sea of Galilee with no building and no bank account, but full of awe and wonder of our Lord Jesus. We gather to worship King Jesus, not always in a building, but always together with other believers.
Please do not misunderstand. I too enjoy the walls, roof, and air conditioning of the church. However, some equate the building with the church. The organization of the church is a spiritual organization of believers gathered to worship King Jesus and study His Word together.
I want to give you a top five list of things you can have in your church and spend no money.
5. Kindness – Being kind to one another is free and very healthy for your church. The Bible tells us, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Eph 4:32 KJV) This is one area you can improve your church and never spend a penny. Just think how your church would react if five people were more kind this Sunday.
4. Worship – Jesus tells the woman at the well in John 4 about worship. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24 KJV) No carpet required! The worship of our King requires no physical elements, just a heart of love and adoration for Jesus.
3. Joy – Bringing joy into the church is defiantly a good thing. We have all been to service where joy was not present and in some cases not invited. This Sunday as you worship with music that speaks of Jesus, heaven, or salvation sing it with joy. People around you will notice. You will be blessed and your church will too.
2. The Bible – Every church has a time of casual conservation. We talk about the weather. We talk about football and our children. If we would intentionally insert a conversation about what we read in the Bible last week or how much we enjoyed the Sunday school lesson for this week. God will not let His Word return void, even from a small and casual conservation.
1. Love – This is the best of all the free, no cost, things you can have in your church. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love is how people know you are a real believer. Love is the greatest! Imagine going to your church and seeing people full of love.
All of these are free, no cost ways to have church. We don’t need money to love, worship, be kind, or share joy. All we need is a great love relationship with Jesus Christ and maybe a tree for a church.