I know this is long but if you actually take the time to read this, please read it in a spirit of prayer. Please do not get automatically defensive but really think about what I am saying in light of scripture.
I don’t kow if you’ve noticed, but we have talked alot about not removing the old landmark and getting back to the way church is supposed to be. God is really dealing with me on this subject.
When the Lord led me away from Middlefork Road Baptist Church, I had absolutely no idea why at the time. Not only did I not know why, I also didn’t know where I was going next. All I knew was that God was telling me it was time to go…so I did.
We have had a year and a half now to “wander in the wilderness” it would seem. In retrospect, we haven’t been wandering at all. God has been showing us some things this entire time. We have visited many, many churches in the past year and a half and God has shown us several things, some of which are only now becoming clear.
One of those things is the fact that we put way too much time and effort into “church”. I’m talking about the building where we meet. We spend untold dollars on making our “chuch” building the end all-be all of our faith. In addition, we also pour out all our time, talents, and resources God has blessed us with to house and entertain our congregations, the young and the old, with programs and trips and sound systems and light shows and da deda deda…
The New Testament Church is not a building (You all know that), believers make up the Church, the body of Christ. The early New Testament Church met at a house, a barn, or even an open field. They met to worship (in spirit and in truth), pray (in the spirit), and learn from each other, sharing what God was doing in and around them at that time. This glorified God and strengthened the body…for what? For the work outside in the streets.
We have been programmed to invite people to “church” to hear the preacher. The gathering of the Church is not for the lost to hear the Gospel, it is for the Church to be energized through the things mentioned above (worship, prayer, sharing). The Bible tells us to take the gospel to the lost simply by sharing the joy we have in Jesus by what He has done in us. Lost folks aren’t all that impressed by sound systems and light shows, they can get that at the club. They are not impressed by our fancy buildings. They are certainly not impressed by our self-righteousness or religion. THEY ARE impressed by our joy, our excitement about Jesus, our real love for one another.
I’ve rambled on enough. I’ll leave you today with these verses…
Acts 15:3, And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
John 15:11, These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Jeremiah 15:16, Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Romans 5:11, And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Are you saved? Really stop and think about that like you have not thought about it in a long time)
1 Peter 1:8, Whom having not seen, (the Lord Jesus) ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: