What Are We Trying To Build?
What do you do when your distinctive identity (for centuries even) gets stripped away? If only in the eyes of our culture, “church” has been associated with a big meeting every Sunday morning. What becomes of us when that is taken away? I think this is a profoundly strategic moment to clarify our mission.
What are we trying to build? What, as a church, do we hope to accomplish? In short, we believe we’re following Jesus in the building of an entirely new community – His new family, His new kingdom (see Ephesians 2:12-22). A big weekly meeting is great, but it’s the means, not the end.
Less and less do people have a sense of what the Church should be. Traditionally influenced people inordinately focus on Sunday (i.e. corporate worship) without regard for a personal relationship with Jesus, daily personal practices, community, or a larger sense of mission in God’s world.
And by contrast, irreligious people (many in the rising generations) have a distorted expectation that the Church should culturally conform. They expect the Church to pass litmus tests on hot button issues or trends. They have little or no regard for God’s revelation of Himself and His design in His Word, or a personal relationship with Jesus or that community is formed by Jesus through His Spirit.
We have a unique contribution! Against the inevitable, destructive consequences of a fallen, selfish worldview, or just short-sighted worldliness, we have something amazing to offer.
- Jesus – His life, death, resurrection, and Presence until He returns
- A restored relationship with our Maker and Owner – Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- His Word
- His people
- His power against evil – in us and in others
- We have Hope – Easter is the testimony of Jesus’ victory over all sin, death, Satan, and hell.
We are helping to build to this. It may even be like Nehemiah’s time, where they worked to build something amazing – something God-ordained – in the midst of hostile enemies (rebuilding Jerusalem in the 5th century B.C.). Like then, we are working on something constructive while many around us are only skeptical, or bent on goals and desires that are destructive.
Let’s keep this perspective. What are we trying to build? We are trusting Jesus and following Him in the building of an entirely new community – His new family, His new kingdom.
Things to pray for:
- God’s perspective. Ask the LORD to open your eyes to learn from His Word and leave short-sighted, foolish ways behind you.
- Confidence in Christ. Ask Jesus to secure you in HIS love, wisdom and sovereign power.
- Mercy. Ask the Lord to help you live with a soft heart. Pray that He would help you to be merciful and patient with the people in your life, especially those who do not yet know Jesus.
- Hope. Ask the Holy Spirit to convey to you His hope. Pray that He would give you buoyancy of heart when the Church is misunderstood or openly mocked – because of Jesus’ victory.