The story is told that on the day Jesus ascended to heaven, he happened to see Gabriel and they had a talk. Gabriel asked, “How did it go?” The Lord said, “Great, excellent.” “Did they make you king?” Gabriel asked. “No” Jesus responded. “Did they make you a prince?” “No.” “Did they worship you?” “Most of them didn’t.” “Well, what happened?” “They crucified me.” “Then they worshipped you, right?” “No.”
“So, what happened?” “I left my people down there.” Gabriel then said, “Well, what if they fail, do you have another plan?” Jesus replied, “There is no other plan.”
The parting words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew declare our purpose and our mission: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28: 19-20).
Faith unpracticed is not faith. Faith is belief plus action. Following Jesus may lead you to the church but if this is the only place following Jesus has lead you then you probably have stopped following Jesus. I am convinced that Jesus has a lot more to teach us if we are willing to go.