Like many churches around the country, Banquo Christian has a group of people who are concerned about the future viability of the church and desire to see it grow. Like many churches, a group of people are meeting together to propose and discuss ideas about what things might be done. In fact, some of us met last night. When you set out to answer the question, “What things can we do to build the church?” the answers you get and agree upon are also going to tell you what kind of church you are seeking to build.
I have mentioned before that my Bible reading program takes me through a chapter a day in 10 different books of Scripture. Sometimes the Lord reveals vivid connections between different passages. To that point, and to the point of this post, my two NT epistle readings were Colossians 1 and 2 Timothy 4.
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:28-29
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Timothy 4:1-4
I wonder if you could get a poll of people’s honest feelings, how many would want to build a church on the foundation of warning, teaching, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting with Scripture.
Or how many would be satisfied with silly myths. Silly myths like if there are a lot of people God must be blessing the place; if the music stirred my emotions it must make God happy too; if the sermon did not discuss something from today’s Drudge Report or TMZ it was not relevant; if the sermon was over 15 minutes it was too long; if there was not coffee and pastries there was not fellowship…etc. etc.
Many people live in fear of the judgment by the living– “What will the crowds say about me?” If we truly lived in fear of the One who will judge all the living and the dead, I wonder how our priorities would change. I wonder how our churches would change. I wonder how our answer to the question, “What kind of church should we build?” would change.