So, I was walking around my office and praying for the church the other day when this box of matches caught my eye.  I felt God’s Spirit say, “This is the church.”

Jesus wants his people to light the world.  We won’t if we remain confined together.  To reach ignition, we have to make contact with the world and face a little friction.

Of course it’s safer for the match in the box, but the match wasn’t designed to remain in the box.  Nor was the box designed to preserve the matches.  The box is simply a convenient container with which to carry and deliver the light-bringing potential resident within each match.  So it is with the church.  We should gather, but our gatherings must never become an end in themselves.  Instead, every believer present at a gathering should feel tension to engage those in his or her sphere of influence with the expression of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Hebrew writer said it this way:

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25 NIV

A disciple of Jesus Christ whose whole attention is on the rest of the church is out of sync with his purpose.  He’s not a match.  He’s a mismatch.