Home > General, quotable > Quotable: Rich Mullins “when we meet Christ it will be somewhere outside the camp”

Quotable: Rich Mullins “when we meet Christ it will be somewhere outside the camp”

If we want to meet Jesus it won’t likely be at church, although I’m a big believer in going to church. I think that when we meet Christ it will be somewhere outside the camp. It will be where people have been marginalized, people who have been literally imprisoned. We will meet Him where we least expect to.

– Rich Mullins

The quote is an excerpt from the transcript of Chris Coppernoll’s interview with Rich Mullins for the Soul2Soul radio program in 1998, which can be read in full at the Calling Out Your Name website.

I’m particularly interested in how those of you who support full involvement in more established churches (like those with church membership) versus those who support house churches view Mullins’ quote.

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  1. July 13, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I met Christ because of the organized church. The youth reached out to me, the new kid in town. Honestly, God really does work through organized church. First Baptist, even. IF it was “outside the camp,” it was because they left me some Bible verses to read, and in my room when I read, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.” That was it. In that moment, something happened–it was true. No Roman road, no sinners prayer, but a revelation that might not have happened (sorry, John Calvin) had those guys not reached out to me at school. AND when they left the verses–it was tuesday night visitation, they had come by to invite me to Sunday School. Granted, this was 1979 before electricity was common, but just like all Germans aren’t Nazi sympathizers, not all orgaznized churches are ineffective for the kingdom.

  2. BrianD
    July 13, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Hey bishopdave!

    I don’t disagree with you…

    Could this be both/and? Or does it have to be only through the institutional church?

  3. Buster
    July 13, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I think Mullins isn’t using the term “meeting Christ” in reference to getting saved. I think he manes, “If we (believers) were to go looking for Jesus, where would we find him?”

    Now, we have the promise that Jesus would be there wherever we gather together in his name, and that’s certainly true of our Sunday morning services.

    But I don’t always feel that he’s there on Sundays. I may hear something about Jesus that touches me, I may sing a song that connects me with God, but this isn’t that different from what I can get at home. I’m just one of a number of spectators. The feeling is different when I’m in communion or fellowship with other believers. Not just chatting with them, but engaging them in some way for the purposes of the Kingdom. It could be in prayer, hearing something significant in their lives, encouraging them, or discussing how God is active in the world. And frankly, that doesn’t happen too often on Sundays. It’s not often that I experience that Jesus is there with us, any more than I can say that he is with me wherever I go. And there is a different quality of that experience in that verse , in my opinion.

    Now, that doesn’t always happen in my home church meetings, either. The last few weeks have been very casual. Attendance has been down (Summer activities), we’ve not been really focused, and the meetings have been far more social than during the school year. By social, I mean just talking about what we’ve been doing, upcoming plans, and the like.

    So when is He there? He’s always been there when we were ministering downtown. When we’re planning or performing some service. When we’re worshiping together. When we’re praying one for another. When we’re opening our hearts about how we feel about something that happened, more than just relating events. It’s where he’s trying to reach people, and he’s using us.

    I think if I said to the average person, “Come with me to church on Sunday, and you’ll meet Jesus there,” for the vast majority of church services, I don’t think they’d meet Jesus. But I think they would see Him at many of out home church meetings, and they would unmistakably see him if they went with us downtown.

    So I’d have to agree with Mr. Mullins on this.

  4. July 13, 2010 at 11:44 am

    BrianD, definitely a both/and.

    I just hear so much about how organized church is not “it”, and yet God is using it.

    Buster, what this bunch did with me was they took Jesus to school with them, in the weight room, wherever. Brought him to my house. Any church, in whatever form, that does that, is obedient. In the sense they let Jesus “out of the building”, it could fit what I guess Mullins it talking about.

  5. Em
    July 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    i feel a bit sad for those who think they’ve found the only church with the only way to heaven inside an institution … i don’t think that’s most of us … people who are in Christ Jesus – born again – can turn up in odd places sometimes and they/you are such an encouragement, such a blessing

  6. BrianD
    July 13, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Agreed, Em. That’s why I asked (suggested, actually) to Dave that it was both/and.

  7. BrianD
    July 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Agreed, Dave. God IS using the organized church…but perhaps He is really using those within it who belong to Him. Whether His people run the entire organization, or whether it’s run by non- or not-yet Christians and God’s people are the ones doing the grunt work.

  8. BrianD
    July 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Mullins may have meant ‘meeting Christ’ in the way you believe he did, Buster. But it also applies to salvation. I’ve heard stories where people met Jesus outside the church and the tent revivals and crusades and other Christian events.

    I still kind of track with you on the Sunday morning thing…I go along with it because I don’t want to do Christianity by myself, and the vast majority of Christians practice going to some kind of weekly, weekend service. But you can’t believe that the service, or celebration, or Sunday Gathered or whatever you want to call it in and of itself is going to make a wonderful difference in your life for the next week.

    The real ministry comes during the week – in your interactions with God and with other Christians. And Jesus is there, and at Sunday Gathered, and on the streets and in the living rooms and restaurants and bridges where people are just about to jump off and end it all and the battlefield. Don’t sell Jesus short on the weekend services…and don’t sell Him short either during the rest of the week.

  9. London
    July 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I think Mullins was outside the camp so he thinks people will meet Jesus outside the camp. People inside the camp think that people will meet Jesus inside the camp.

    I think Jesus says “what camp??”

  10. jlo
    July 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    “what camp”

    like it.

  11. BrianD
    July 13, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    His camp?

  12. July 13, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Thanks for posting Rich’s quote, Brian. His is still the most impacting interview ever on Soul2Soul.

    Chris Coppernoll

  13. BrianD
    July 14, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Chris, thanks for stopping by! I do wish Soul2Soul would have been available via podcast…I miss hearing it locally.

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