Churches are a lot like a fiber-optic lamp. Each church is made up of many members just like the lamp is made up of many fibers. (Collectively Christians give off a great deal of light and information about our loving and awesome God.) Each church member attempts to perfectly represent their Creator, and even though they will always fail to show ALL of who He is, they do show the world what can be seen when one looks in His direction. Even a whole "bundle" of Christians cannot show all of who God is because of how amazing and awesome He is, but a much better representation is seen. (By the way, this can also be seen as another very good reason to go to church and not just stay home. When Christian's "bunch together" in a family they can actually show the world MUCH more of who God is.)
The pastor of a church can be illustrated as being much like the ring holding the fibers together (see the photo) and keeps them close to the light. Pastors do not create light, but are the ones that have been ordained by God to keep the church together and to keep the members close to the Source of Light. The pastor is made of the same material as members and so he lets his light shine in the community as well, but his light is more often directly associated with the church than are the member's lights.
One lone fiber can display a very bright light even though that light could be coming from very "far away", and when you bunch the fibers together you will obviously get a much bigger and better picture of what is on the other end. You may even consider that what is on the other end (the Light Source) is even brighter & larger than what can be reflected by the bunch of fibers (members of the church).
When a fiber-optic lamp is set in a dark room it is easy to see that each fiber sheds the light it receives right where it's at and together these fibers create a very beautiful sight. When a Christian church is set in a dark world each true Christian sheds the light he receives. and no matter where he ends up he becomes a blessing to others. And in fact, when we ask God to guide us and use us as He pleases we can be sure that wherever we are that is where He wants us to be.
Real Christian churches make the world a very beautiful place, but only because of the LIGHT OF JESUS!
“Yes, I am the vine [the Light]; you are the branches [the fibers of the lamp]. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing."
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."
"The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world."