Church as we know it…is it the Church Jesus said He would Build?
Church as we know it was man’s invention, incorporated by man, named by man, headed by man, its leaders are trained in seminaries by man, and then hired by man. Man creates campaigns to recruit people to join it, raises money to support it, and tracks attendance to it and the number of people that leave it. Man loves it, patronizes it and sanctions it. Man is employed by it and markets it. Man claims that God is in it and provides His gifts freely to us, yet man commercializes it and tries to sell the blessings of God for profit. Though man joins it, they also drive people from it, resign from it and leave it.
The success or failure of the thing we call church, is determined by the numbers of people that do or do not attend; if the Sunday-go-meetings are good or bad; if the preacher is a good speaker of not, and if the amount of money collected is high or low.
Ask the hired hireling known as pastor how his church is doing and you may hear the following responses: It is a great success; the church membership has tripled since I took over as pastor. The monies coming into has more than doubled to run the church programs. Our building program is expanding. Or if they think the church is not a success you might hear, we have more people leaving through the back door than is coming through the front door.
Now where is this pastor’s heart…he is evaluating the thing called church of which he is the sub-head under the hierarchical head. Numbers reflect upon His success or failure as a leader.
How would He answer if he understood the Church as the Body of Christ?
Maybe he would respond something like this: the people have a heart for God even though they have gone through many trials and testings but they have grown deeper in their trust in God because of it. I try to lead people to Christ as their head, their provider and their sustainer, they are not my church, they are His Church and He is the one who cares for them, I only lead them to His care. I teach them to respect the written word about God but without knowing the Jesus, the LIVING WORD and allowing His life to live through them, it is just another book of which many people use to abuse. That man somewhat understands what it is too be the Body of Christ.
If he talks about his church, his people, his great leadership, his agenda, His worship team, his staff in a possessive sense, he is snared by his own status, position and conceit. On the other hand, if he talks about the people has belonging to the good shepherd, Jesus Christ, he may be free and more likely to set God's people free from the bondage and slavery they find themselves in. Though in most cases that is impossible in the institutionalized system and many have left in frustration due to limitations that are present to train people to be the God’s people not the institution’s people.
Without the hired professionals, the programs and the income of money the thing called church would collapse. But, the Church of Jesus Christ do not need these things to flourish and be effective in this world. For Jesus is her source and her sustainer not the inventions of man.