(You can listen to this article via this podcast audio, and, pause the audio to follow important page links, then, resume the audio when you are ready. Please note that I use page links critical to this article in lieu of references and footnotes.)
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Romans 8:5
My Blog page biography says, in part, “I am a practicing Christian, a disciple of Jesus, a husband of over 50 years, a father and a grandfather, a businessman, a veteran and a friend to all who will have me.” I would like to add that I have been a youth soccer coach, a baseball player while in high school, an occasional volunteer for charitable organizations, an insurance agent, broker and an insurance agency owner.
I never had to stop being a husband to be a father, and I never had to stop being a businessman to be a soccer coach. I usually did these things sequentially. I had to be organized, and I had to prioritize, but, I found I could be many things to many people in the process.
But, my main calling and focus is that as a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ. As a disciple, Jesus directs me to BE somethings and to DO other things. Funny thing is that He expects that I can BE many things and I can DO many things, at the same time or sequentially. It is the same for you, too.
For example, Jesus tells me to love my wife the same way Jesus loves His Church and gave up His life for her. So, by making Him my focus and my first priority, He tells me to make my wife my first earthly priority. I am to do both, simultaneously.
Another example is that Jesus tells me to love Him with all my heart, mind and strength and, at the same time, I am to love my neighbor as I love myself – simultaneously!
This leads me to the idea that many are expressing about leaving the ‘corporate church’ and ‘becoming the organic church’. I get what they are saying, and they make many good points. Before I go further, let me make a few distinctions.
#1. Do you attend a ‘church’, i.e., a corporate entity which
- Is focused on ‘growth’ for the sake of growth; building enhancement for appearance and participant’s comfort?
- Does your church focus on staff salaries and their retirement funds, which exceed your missions spending?
- Are you baptizing new believers weekly, and is your focus to make disciples who are making disciples?
- Just ‘attending church’ but rarely leads anyone to Christ or is involved in serving the Body or the community?
- Do your church services end with people folding the bulletins and rushing off to lunch in their little groups?
- Is focused on religious ‘seekers’ rather than reaching the lost?
- Is focused on becoming the ‘best you’, and getting all the promises of God for yourself, now?
#2. Are you part of a Church which
- Is focused on BEING Christlike and serving the Body, the people, of Christ, loving others and considering others as more important than yourself?
- Is known for its hospitality and service to the community in the name of Jesus?
- Add buildings and property only when needed to serve the existing size of the Church Body?
- Is focused on raising up disciple-makers and sending them out as local pastors, teachers, evangelists and community missionaries?
- Do your pastor’s sermons result in repentance, re-dedication as disciples of Christ, re-commitment as Christians; do they give clear directions of the Gospel?
- Is focused on reaching the lost, the straying, the broken, hurting and leading them to Christ Jesus and finding His rest and peace?
- Focused on becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus, doing His Works, faithful in all things related to the Gospel; faithful in giving, serving, loving, patient, kind and gentle?
The first example is of people who consider themselves as Christians, who are busy ‘going to church’ but rarely understand what it means to ‘Be the Church’. What I mean is that they say the right things, they think they are doing the right things, but, they just don’t go outside the church building, visibly BEING THE CHURCH! They are INWARD focused. Their slogan is usually something like, “Come Join Us on Sunday”, or, “Come Grow with Us”. Inward focused.
The second example is of Christians who are focused on ‘Being the Church’, and they understand what that means. They consider the church building a tool necessary only to serve the Body of Christ. They are OUTWARD focused, both inside the church building and outside the building. Their slogan is typically something like, “Find Jesus, Find Peace”, or, “Worship God Here”.
If you will BE THE CHURCH as you go about your daily life, you may find that, from time to time, you may need a place to gather. Someone’s house may be a good place to meet or congregate, to worship together, hear or teach the Word of God, to pray and plan. But, you may find, as your numbers increase, that a building may be more useful and practical. What I am trying to point out is that as long as your methods and ways are those of Jesus, then whether you meet in a house or a building is a matter of choice and convenience, but your FOCUS must always be on being and doing what Jesus has called you to be and do!
If you keep your focus right by keeping your priority right, the rest will fall into place. In other words, “Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing” and as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give…” Matthew 10:7-15
So, what should you do? Why not, YOU BE THE CHURCH. God is calling all of His children, that is, all Christians, into His service. Whether you recognize the ‘office or your calling’ or not, you are called to serve Him. The postmodern church organization has turned serving God into a profession, complete with colleges, seminaries, salaries and government regulations, but, that is NOT what the Bible says. Even the Apostles were known as untrained and uneducated men who were known for their love for one another and that they had been with Jesus! (see these spiritual gifts and offices).
Whether God has given you the Spiritual Gift of preaching, teaching, reaching the lost or otherwise, perform your calling and exercise your spiritual gifts. Don’t be like those who wear their calling of God like a prize to be paraded around, dressed in their religiosity. Just trust God to lead you, whether inside a church building, in a small group or a house Church, just do it and be it! You be available and willing, and God will do the rest! Trust Him.
Your Brother and Friend,
I hear some Christians say they are tired of the ‘consumer church’ (watch this video),
Others are bored with the ‘postmodern church environment’ in favor of a ‘house-church’ (watch this next video).
Still others say they are discourage by and finished with the 501(c)(3)-church-as-usual. (Watch either or both of these next videos).
It is not my position to replace the existing church model. It is my position to reform the existing church model where WE, THE BODY OF CHRIST, obey Him, follow Him, and do everything in the model He demonstrated.
There are many good and faithful churches being and doing the Will of God. But, there are many more so-called churches which have drifted away from the Gospel and have become apostate. They are ‘having their lampstands removed’ in these Last Days. We must know the difference and run from the apostate church.