I watched a sermon this evening about why the church exists, as in the organization. The preacher seemed to be referencing the Sunday morning assembly versus the body of Christ. He gave 3 reasons that the church exists: for saints, for seekers, for God. I want to explain the pros and cons to these thoughts (my perspective rather than the preacher who delivered the message).
- The church existing for saints. The benefit of a church that exists for saints could produce biblically knowledgeable individuals. It could also produce very self-centered “Christians” who seek for the organization to give them what they want rather than be outwardly or upwardly focused. This is out of balance.
- The church existing for seekers. The seeker-sensitive movement was very successful in drawing crowds. Most of these pastors made Christianity as simple as a prayer with no demand for holiness. They drew crowds with secular music and various forms of entertainment. One of the well-known pastors from that movement stated a few decades later that his seeker emphasis produced a church full of consumers who had little to no biblical knowledge. The worship services had no substance, and standards were low. These churches produced shallow saints and a generic view of God.
- The church existing for God. This is ultimately what God wants. When Christ is central, saints will be fully devoted followers of Christ who help others find, follow, and be like Jesus. It will be a balanced atmosphere of worship, discipleship, ministry, fellowship, and evangelism/outreach. The problem (which really isn’t a problem) is that those who really don’t love the Lord won’t want an atmosphere like this. This kind of church divides the wheat from the tares. People who don’t really love Jesus don’t want to worship, serve, or grow (at least for the right reasons). Those who go through the motions but do so for show only want to receive the glory. All the glory belongs to Jesus!
If you have read my blog for a while, you know that my heart is less for the organization and more for actually BEING the church (the body of Christ). The world doesn’t need another organization. I’m not knocking the organization of the church. I’m emphasizing the need for it to be what Christ commissioned.
Sadly, many are connected to the organization for the wrong reasons. God will reveal that in time. May we pray for the church now more than ever that Jesus will be Lord and selfish agenda will cease.