What if Jesus Showed up at Your Church?

Someone asked the question in a bible class recently that made for a lot of interesting discussion. The question was, “What if Jesus showed up for our church services tonight … what would he do or say?”  Here were a few things people answered….

  • “He’d lead us in powerful worship.”
  • “He would preach.”
  • “He’d tell the children to quit running in the auditorium after church.”
  • “He’d straighten a lot of people out.”

My reply was, “I think if Jesus showed up in town one Sunday evening, I’m not sure he’d even come to church.” I could tell that made a few people uncomfortable.  I finished, “Instead, he’d probably go hang out with some people in the community that need him much worse than we do.”

Everyone’s view of Jesus was a little different, but mine made a few uncomfortable. I went on to say, “In fact, I think if Jesus really did show up one night for church, I can imagine him chasing kids though the auditorium. I can see him washing someone’s dirty feet in the drinking fountains. I could see him allowing someone to clean up in the baptistry water. I can see him feeding the homeless out of the refrigerator in the fellowship hall. And I can hear him saying, ‘“Let’s go outside and sing under the stars.” ‘And at some point in all the commotion, I can see a deacon running up to Jesus scolding him, ‘“Jesus! What are you doing? Were you born in a barn?”’ And Jesus would reply, ‘“Yes, actually I was!”’

That’s just how I see Jesus.

So I’m curious … if Jesus showed up at your church, what do you think he’d do or say?

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Trey Morgan tagged this post with: , Read 1182 articles by
34 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Jonathan P says:

    What a great entry. My image of Jesus coming into a church building is similar to yours. I can definitely see him coming in, maybe everybody’s anticipating some amazing singing or preaching or whatever, and instead he says, “who wants to go out and feed people on the streets with me!” that, to me, is true worship…worshiping God by serving others in the same way he came to serve us.

  2. Glenna Garcia says:

    I think the first thing he would do would be to smile a beautiful, unforgettable smile and then maybe he would say, I love you. After that it really wouldn’t matter because He is present, as he always is.

  3. Katherine says:

    Oh my word…we are SO on the same track!! I think my view of Jesus makes some a bit uncomfortable, too-but I think that is good :)

    I think He would tell some of us that we have missed the point…that following Jesus is not all about DOing Church, but BEing the Church-not only to the world, but to each other. I have been ruminating lately about the original Church in Acts, and how they truly were community, family-living among each other, sharing all the had…and how extremely different that looks today. I believe that much of our mentality and theology has strayed far away from His original intention and the true meaning of Church.

    Anyway…I could stay on the soapbox awhile about that ;)…glad we are on the same wavelength!

  4. Katherine says:

    Sorry, I just realized that sounded negative…did not mean to come across that way. I have just been very challenged and convicted lately that we, as the Church should look different…not that we are all bad or doing it all wrong…but I think if we could truly understand and embrace WHO we are in Him and ALL that He has called us to, and if we could unite together in His name…we could be a powerful force for His Kingdom and in this world!!

    • Jay says:

      Not negative at all. Quite tactful. Sometimes it’s hard to be even mildly direct when everyone is paddling against the truth. As believers trying to emulate the love of Christ, we often lose sight that Jesus wasn’t able to please everyone either. No amount of explaination will work until the Holy Spirit has done His work in their hearts.

    • Trey Morgan says:

      That wasn’t negative at all, Kat. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Sharon says:

    Love this post, I have been doing a lot of thinking along these lines lately. I totally agree that Jesus would not come into a building & sit…I don’t think that is what He had in mind for His church!

  6. Jay says:

    Thanks Trey. This is a well needed blog. It reminds me of a song I’ve performed by Todd Agnew called “My Jesus”. A heart-wrenching paraphrase of what your article is about today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5Svz6YFtkI&feature=related

  7. Crissi says:

    He would probably put his head down, as if he were praying, shake it back and forth, and say, “Oh, Dear God!” in shock that we are in church sitting, instead of out “doing”

  8. Greg England says:

    We’ve had that discussion a few times over the years and I’ve not changed my opinion much … I don’t think Jesus would even recognize many, if any, of today’s churches as His body. I’m pretty sure he would skip the weekly elder’s meeting, though!

  9. I tend to agree with you Trey. Jesus is about actively loving people, whether is be a word from His Father’s book, a healing touch or a playful hug.

  10. Char says:

    After living in Las Vegas for six years, I can honestly say that my heart and soul are sick over what “we” are doing for Jesus (or rather, not doing) here in this city of 2.5 million souls.

    I want to write more, but I don’t want to be negative. I’ll just say I completely agree with you. Completely.

  11. Lonnie says:

    Trey, I can tell you what I think would happen at our church. The elders would think he was too radical, and in their best pharisitical way would have him thrown out. The nerve of him to want to feed the poor, if they have any connection to sin or worst yet profess to be a christian and follower of Jesus, just not from our congregation, if someone is hungry from a “denomonation” they will just have to starve! According to our elders, we would go to hell if we were to lift a finger to help them…..

  12. Edwin says:

    I think He would come to the church. Did He not go when He came to Jerusalem? But what disturbed Him was what He found . We can play church by doing things also. We all need to just as Mary did. Sit at His feet and listen. Then go and tell others about Him.

  13. everlastingwater says:

    (This joke was sent to me a couple of weeks ago, funny, yet I feel though this is too true in our society.
    One Sunday morning during service, a 2,000 member congregation was surprised to see two men enter, both covered from head to toe in black and carrying submachine guns. One of the men proclaimed, "Anyone willing to take a bullet for Christ remain where you are." Immediately, the choir fled… the deacons fled… and most of the congregation fled…. Out of the 2,000 there only remained around 20. The man who had spoken took off his hood… He then looked at the preacher and said "Okay Pastor, I got rid of all the hypocrites… Now you may begin your service. Have a nice day!")

    I think that today we have the wrong interpretation of what is the church, it was never a building, although today, that's the most common definition. The church is the body of Christ. I really don't believe he would go to church "building", but instead would be hanging out with the poor, the orphans, the widows, the crippled, the sick. I think that is where we will experience Jesus and the Church.

  14. Tami Martin says:

    I think Jesus might ask, “What are you doing to help the widows, poor, aliens?” “Why do you have such a large building when so many in your community are hungry?”

  15. Jo Baird says:

    If it was Sun. night I think he would say, "where are all those people that came this a.m.'

  16. Saddened by things says:

    I'm afraid He would weep, regardless if it was Sunday am or pm, if He showed up at the church I attend.

  17. vanilla says:

    Great article. I think you see it pretty close to the way it is. Blessings.

  18. Suzi Hodges says:

    I do not even think Jesus would go into the churches. I see him going to the park and waiting for the people to come to him feeding the people and hanging with them and playing at the park with the children laughing and flying a kite with them. I would love to hear a good sermon sitting on the park lawn and getting baptized in the park water, day or night. That would be cool.

  19. Jenn says:

    I think you are exactly right, Trey. I also don't think he would have a problem with the little boys in our church playing in the empty dirt and digging holes in it for their cars to drive through while they listened to their mid-week lessons. I think he would be playing with them as he shared his parables with them.

  20. I think you see it right too Trey! :)

    Btw, I did think you was just another highschool kid, one that had been held back a few years. lol! Just kidding, I promise!

  21. Angie Cox says:

    I missed seeing this yesterday, so when I found it after having written my post this morning and having read Elissa Elliott’s post (http://bit.ly/b211a6) on a related topic, it really snagged my attention.

    I think he would look around and ask why there are 20 different buildings for worship in the same town.

    I think he would ask, “What’s up with all the rules and procedures?” Followed by, “I’m not that complicated.”

    I think he’d ditch services and go to the lake.

    I think he’d probably be packin’ a guitar with him and pull it out to play “Dancin’ With My Father God in Fields of Grace” just to rock a few boats. He was into boat-rockin’ and cage rattlin’ when he was here before.

    I think he’d go find some “undesirable” women and listen to their stories. Then he would encourage them and reassure them, and tell them to step up and lead.

    I also think he cry as he asks us why we have killed and hurt so many over the centuries while claiming to be defending him.

  22. Dan Beals says:

    This post has really got me thinking. First let me say I completely agree with you Trey about what Jesus would do. It brings me into the next thing I have been wrestling with. A dream, a revival dream I have been having… where there is no Church building, or organization… no names, no denominations, no positions… just loving Christ and helping each other out (like Jesus commanded). I have a dream where the church is going out doing basically what you guys are doing (dump days), feeding the poor, helping the sick, etc. I feel the same thing is being said week after week in church, making ppl “comfortably numb” (please excuse my pink floyd reference lol) with fancy rhetoric that doesnt fill missing hole, while people are suffering on the streets….. and ill be the first to admit that I am guilty of being comfortably numb. Just thoughts I suppose.

  23. Rick Burgin says:

    Hey Trey,

    Great post and comments. As I read all of this I feel like we are all trapped in a dream that we don’t know how to get out of. I’ve heard so many people desiring, craving something more that “church” should be, but we don’t seem to know how to get there. We’re stuck in this comfortable slumber and dream and don’t know how to get out. Any thoughts on how we get there from here? I love your thoughts and writings. May God bless you brother!

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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