The automobile was first built to provide horseless-drawn carriages as a means for transportation. The goal was to make long-distance travel easier, safer and more convenient. However, as the automobile developed and the need for long-distance travel increased, a new and different goal began to emerge. Automobile manufactures soon realized they could provide a better and safer means of travel, but equally important they could make a lot of money in the process. Today for automobile manufacturers the goal to provide long-distance travel takes a back seat to making money. This is why automobile manufactures will spend million on advertisement, and why they continue to make new designs and makes of vehicles. They are appealing to our need to want something better, the latest and greatest, or something others don’t have.
When Christ commissioned his followers to go make disciples the goal was to spread the good news that God had resolved mankind greatest need for freedom from guilt and shame. In the beginning the goal of the Church was to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. In the beginning it was to spread the news that new life can be experienced through the transformational power of the Holy Spirit. To love people, help deliver people from their oppression and bondage, and to embrace others as brothers and sisters. The beauty and power of the Church was its message and communal acceptance.
Like the manufacturers of the automobile, there are church manufacturers. Church manufacturers are those who make a business out of religion, and the goal has emerged from spreading the good news to building “our church” and/or “our ministry resume”. Hidden egos to have bigger and better disguised as saving the world. The goal to spread the good news of Jesus’s love takes a back seat to increasing the numbers who join our gatherings. Church leaders design good advertisement campaigns, spend millions on technologies to provide a one of a kind weekend experience. Have they forsaken the message? No, not completely. But often the message isn’t designed to free people, or make disciples of Christ, but to fill the seats on Sunday and grow the tithe to keep our program in operation. Unfortunately this new and different goal has changed how people view Church. Laypersons view Church as something to go to on Sunday to be inspired and have those holy goosebumps. They seek an experience that will make them feel closer to God, and they are willing to pay for that experience. Non-church attenders often see this build it and they will come, bigger and better mentality as a misuse of God’s resources and His saving message.
I’m not saying this is the motivation for all church leaders, but it is a motivation for many. The gospel should not be for sale, and neither should the Church become big business of marketing our brand to grow our numbers.
Thankfully there still remains pastors and church leaders who really get it. They don’t view their ministry as trying to fill the seats, but rather to help as many people as they can. Their focus is to fight against injustice, bring comfort to the hurting, give godly guidance to those seeking, and to glorify God through humble servanthood. They are a gathering of people on a godly mission, and not a gathering of people comfortable in the padded pews. They don't GO to church, they ARE the church.
The subject of the church is Jesus Christ.
The mission of the Church is to spread the good news - there is freedom in Christ. The called of the Church is to love others and help others in their search for spiritual truth and relevance.
The purpose of the Church is to be a city of refuge, a light on a hill.
The power of the Church is the Holy Spirit working through our lives.
The beauty of the Church is its all-inclusive simple saving messaging of hope in Christ.
The goal of the Church is for you and me to be like Christ and to enjoy intimate fellowship with God.
The priority of the Church is to love God, love others as we love ourselves.
The size of a church should not be the gage of its greatness. The size of the church’s heart for the world is the gage of its greatness!