It happened on August 16, 1977. I can remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. I had finished up a lab assignment for a Biochemistry class at the University of Missouri in Columbia. I had gotten out of class about 3:30 PM and I had a couple of hours before I started my shift work at Elias Fischel State Cancer Hospital. As I was driving home to change clothes and head to work—I heard these words over the radio, “Elvis Presley died this afternoon at 3:30 PM in his Graceland home in Memphis. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Baptist Memorial Hospital. Elvis was 42 years old”.
They say that Elvis played to “packed stadiums” everywhere he went. People would not leave the arena—they would be calling for more encores. To get people to finally go home, it became customary that the PA announcer would have to go on stage and say this line, “Elvis has left the building”. Only then, would people begin to leave.
I have thought on several occasions about that line, “Elvis has left the building”. When looked at in the context of the church, can it be said that Christians have left the building. I’m not talking about the worship service being over and it is now time to go home or out to eat. What I am talking about is—have we as Christians decided to take the message out of the church and take it to the people in the work place. The problem with our churches today is that the message stays in the building—it never gets incorporated into our place of employment, schools, families, communities.
I hope it can be said of 180 church—those people have left the building to make an impact for Christ on the world outside the four walls of the church.