What would happen to Greenwood tomorrow morning if North Side Baptist Church ceased to be?  What would take place in our community if our church’s presence in the community completely vanished?  Would it be tragic or even noticeable?  Would people miss a building or would they miss a movement?  Would they realize only the numbers missed versus the lives transformed?

This is something I have been asking myself a lot lately.  North Side is making a huge impact in our community.  One day I was at Lander, and a lady came and hugged me when I was wearing a North Side t-shirt because we pick up her grandkids from a rough neighborhood and love on them at Project Love when no one else is reaching out.  A 20-something whose rugged clothing was “inappropriate” for a certain church was told to come to our doors because we would accept them.  A teenager shocks his parents for coming to church because he says nobody looks at their watch during the service unlike the church he grew up in.  I know we are making a difference.  But is it enough?

Does our church have anything to say about a three-month old child being neglected and abused in the child’s own home?   Is North Side supposed to do anything about the lack of father-figures in our community?  Are we called to do something about the growing drug problem infesting our youth?  Do we have to merely accept the divorce rate or are we supposed to do something about it?  Are the poor the responsibility of the government or Does God intend us to do something about the growing number of widows and orphans in our county and are we actually supposed to take James 1:27 as a true statement?

I don’t want to be a part of a church with a nice building or a lot of people.  I want to know that by the time we are gone, the spiritual landscape of the community has been altered because God’s people refused to get over the cross.

This came to my heart late Sunday night, maybe it resonates with you as well:

O, What’s a Church to Do?

O, what’s a church to do?
Socialize, proselytize,
Empathize or try?
Congregate, segregate,
Stagnate or die?
Trivialize, patronize,
Criticize old and new.
Organize to fraternize,
O, what’s a church to do?

O, what’s a church to feel?
Heartless and merciless,
Clearly effortless we try.
Motionless, oblivious,
To the needs brought before our eyes.
A philosophy of apathy
In sympathy we kneel,
But the prayer ends before “Amen,”
O, what’s a church to feel?

O, what’s a church to say?
Promised peace and great relief
When none remains in sight?
Health, wealth, and prosperity
While people around us die?
Be warm and be filled, peace be still
From comfortably afar we can pray,
Come and see not go and tell,
O, what’s a church to say?

O, what’s a church to be?
A social club, a friendly hub,
A place to come and hide?
Warm smiles abound, for those who’ve been found
But lacking for those outside?
Or perhaps a chance to take a stance
Once we have arisen from our callous knees?
The hands and feet, taking Christ to the streets,
O what’s a church to be?
The kind for which Christ would bleed.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.