This is a part of a series
Many times over the years the Holy Spirit brings me back to thinking about the purpose of a church. Recently that is going through my thoughts again. And tonight I bumped into this verse – and my thoughts have snapped to attention. I get it!
What would a church look like which was based on this verse…
So Christ himself gave
the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,
to equip his people for works of service – Eph 4:11-12
He gives us a leadership team – the church leaders – to do what? To equip His people to DO WORKS OF SERVICE.
What if our churches changed from being a “car parking area” into a highway. Not a mass of seated people, but instead a mass of moving people, moving in groups, each moving in their own calling.
Instead of being “a place of safety” for young Christians to be “saved into”, instead young Christians become a part of a group of people on a journey. Paul was saved one day, filled with the Holy Spirit a few days later… and then he went preaching the gospel the very next day!
Equipping FOR works
What if church equipped all the attendees for works of service? What if the leadership saw their role as helping the attendees in their works of service? I mean… take a moment to think of your local mega church (4,000 people or 20,000 people) and imagine every one of those people doing works of service!
What if leadership saw it’s role as building the people up… SO THAT they can do works of service…
so that the body of Christ may be built up – Eph 4:12
The gates of hell will not withstand
It rocks my world to think that Jesus Christ said that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church. Let’s not gloss over those words. Take a moment to think about them. The assumption He is making is that His church – the people – are attacking the gates of hell. Attacking, not surviving.
Reinhard Bonnke says this…
Christians are not the hunted, they are the hunters. You will not run away from the devil, the devil will run away from you. “Stand ye therefore…” Receive it in the name of Jesus. REINHARD BONNKE.
Church is a place to learn how to attack the gates of hell… and to do so in a supportive community, surrounded by like minded people who are encouraging you… and led by gifted people who want to see you be built up and they see it as their role to equip you for your calling.
Church is not a parking zone, but a flow of people doing works of service. Sunday is the day to be equipped. Monday to Saturday are the days to do works of service. Then back to Sunday to get more equipping. Then get busy Monday to Saturday doing your works of service. Go to church on Sunday to be built up… and then back out there, doing your works of service the rest of the days.
I don’t know if this is hitting you, but it’s whacking me. I’ve been searching for this truth for years and today I see it! Church is a place where Holy-Spirit-filled-elders are equipping and building up the flock so that the flock are more effective in their works of service.
The basic assumption is that everyone has a work of service – and that alone is revolutionary! 4,000 or 20,000 or 500 or 40 people who are all attacking the gates of hell, following their unique call to impact society in their unique God-given way.
What do you think? Why do you go to your church? Do you see the signs Jesus Christ said to look for? Leave a comment!
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The thing about this post which caught my eye was the title “How to build a Church”.
My thought is simple “why build a church, when Christ has already built one for us”.
You are Peter and on this Rock I will build my Church (Matt 18:15).
“I will build”… He will build… and He is still building… don’t you think?
And besides that, Jesus Christ Himself taught about the Kingdom when He taught us that He puts new wine into new wineskins in order to preserve them both.
I simply would not fit into the catholic “wineskin”. I love that you guys exist and that you give a home to people of that orientation. But I’m different to you, just as Mother Teresa was different and Martin Luther was different. Both people were necessary to bring God’s people back into line with God’s word (the bible).
And it’s a good thing that God doesn’t limit Himself to just one expression of church. There have been some absolutely horrific pontifs in the past, very evil people. http://listverse.com/2007/08/17/top-10-most-wicked-popes/
Throughout the dark ages when Catholicism was burning people for reading the bible, God preserved the bible and preserved the gospel in far away lands, until the catholic church could be restored and become a force FOR the Kingdom once more.
There has to be homes for all of us. A home for you and a home for me too. Not just for you – and I must somehow bend and break myself to fit in with you. And besides that… I don’t speak or understand Latin.
What we all have in common, what our houses and lives and local churches must be built on is Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected. We don’t build our lives on the church, we build them on Jesus Christ.
It is a horrific error to say that we are not saved if we do not join the Catholic church. We are saved when we call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in our heart etc. We are saved by grace alone.
And my last observation is this… in his letters Paul wrote to the church of X, the church of Y and the church of Z. All three were different churches expressed in different places. It would seem that diversity is the norm in biblical Christianity.
Im very very glad you have found a place where you fit. Please be glad for me that I have found a place where I fit. To those who dont know where they fit… please keep looking! 🙂
May God bless you, Mark.
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I agree! The Latin word for Mass is Missa, meaning sent out. The word mission comes from missa. During the Mass, we pray, we sing, we listen to the word(s) of God. At the very end, we take what we believe is the body and blood of Jesus into our bodies, and, intimately united with Love, are immediately sent out: the priest tells us to “go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”
Wow. Yes! I grew up in an Anglican church and the priest always told us to do that… GO and SERVE the Lord. I just thought that meant “go and be good”. Just imagine if the whole Christian world went and SERVED! Just imagine what a good church would be like if it spent sundays EQUIPPING the people. Not lecturing to them, but EQUIPPING. It boggles my mind.