Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The Church that Jesus Pastored
What is a Church? Especially in today's day in age, there are a lot of different concepts of what a Church is and what it is supposed to be like and we can look around our Nation and see all kinds of religious phenomenons and examine them but as Bible-believers, it would make sense that the model for what it is 'supposed' to be should come from Scripture.
The folks in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas in the book of Acts were actively serving God and breaking bread together from house to house. A crystal cathedral or worship center auditorium had not been thought of yet. There were no mega-Churches, there wasn't any mention of small groups or youth groups. There were just Christians working, worshiping & fellowshiping together in Unity.
That doesn't mean that many of the different ways in which we organize people in Churches today is necessarily wrong but it does mean that those devices we may have contrived are NOT the way to measure success.
In America, we've begun to look at the Church as a Corporation....
IS Jesus the CEO of a big Corporation? The answer is no way. He is the Head of the BODY of Christ. We are not a Corporation-we are a Body. We are a living organism. What constitutes life? Many things, breath, a heart-beat, emotions, activity---the ability to reproduce (soul-winning). You see, we are looking at the quality and success of Churches through the eyes of corporate business and that is unBiblical.
If you have a group of people, led by mostly men and some women and some children, who love to spend time together, do good works and study Scripture......well, you have the same thing Jesus had. 12 disciples, Mary, Martha, Peter's Mom, etc. You have PEOPLE. And it doesn't mean you pack out a stadium necessarily, or that you have a big deacon board. or that all the self-help book store Christians feel they're..."Being fed." or that you have a cutting edge youth program, and a state-of-the-art sound system that will blow everyone's mind. Believe it or not, when Jesus and the disciples 'sang an hymn' after the Last Supper-there was no light-show. And Jesus didn't always give the polished sermons that the "Really Good Speakers" give....and He didn't ALWAYS re-assure everyone, frankly, he even freaked out His disciples with a lot of what He had to say, but He was faithful to the message the Father had sent Him with.
Are we following Jesus? Are we preachers of Christ's Gospel or are Preachers following the model of politicians, or celebrities? They may be able to build a following and lead many people astray but are they Preachers?
There's a saying "learn from everyone, follow no one" Sure, some of these big wig preachers say some truth and do some good things. But we have to measure them by the Bible. And while there are principles in every Christian book store that can bless many, despite all the pages and pages of best selling books and wonderful seminars, most of the activities and programs and ministries in the USA today don't come close to resembling Jesus' Church.
A Church is a family. And family sticks together through tough times. Holds on and makes it through. Get your eyes off of entertainment and corporate culture, get your eyes on the Lord Jesus and at like Him. Was Jesus poor? Yep. Was He persecuted? Yep. Did He suffer? Yep. Was He a success? ABSOLUTELY!!!