Wed | Jun 26, 2019

Is the church a building or is the church you?

Published:Saturday | May 25, 2019 | 12:16 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Manchester, Jamaica:

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20.

At the mention of church, the first thing that comes to the minds of some unbelievers is the word hypocrite.

For years the roles of the church have been misconstrued by the ignorant and those who don’t truly represent what it stands for.

Youth leader at the Campbell’s Castle Seventh-day Adventist Church, Christine Thomas, said the original mandate set out for the church has not changed, but people need to be more accepting of their responsibilities in carrying out the work of God.

“The church belongs to God, and was given the unique mission of proclaiming, protecting, promoting and preserving the gospel. There are two things that the local church should be operating as: a soul-winning station for the unsaved, and a soul-building station for the members. The church is supposed to win souls and keep souls.”

She says the church consists of God’s called-out people who look to Him for their every need.

“How could one from such a humble background command such authority? What was it that made Him so different? The answer is simple. He was not just a prophet, teacher, healer: He is the son of God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, and is the reason we worship, pray and praise today,” she said.

She added, “The most important concept of church to keep in mind is that it is founded by Jesus. Whenever the focus shifts from Jesus to anything else, then it becomes another ordinary social gathering. We should never lose sight of this focus or allow the meaning of the church to be diverted for any purpose other than to lift up Jesus, who alone is the author and finisher of our faith.”

Thomas expressed that the establishment of a firm foundation is necessary in this ever-changing world.

She relayed stories of non-Christians who were defiant as a result of ego and ignorance, and said if people took the time out to understand the true meaning of the church, and what it stands for, members of the church would not be labelled as hypocrites.

“We have adopted a bad theology of church which limits the church to a physical location that people come to. In the early church, and in the mind of church planters, we do not go to the building at a particular time; instead we do church. Church is you and I.

“God has called us into His marvellous light to show forth His glory. Let us pray to ask God to use us in His service for the growth and expansion of the church. Each of us can reach someone; each of us can lead someone,” she ended.

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