Jesus is still building His church – His way – in the 21st Century. Unfortunately, religion has taken over the ‘building’ project and completely changed the architectural design.
Instead of ‘lively stones’ built up into a spiritual house, we use brick and mortar to erect man made cathedrals (1Peter 2:5). Instead of a holy people being built together for a holy habitation, we pride ourselves in providing padded pews in air conditioned sanctuary’s. Instead of equipping believers for the work of ministry, we corral the masses for our weekly religious performances (Ephesians 2:22). Rather than a living body that is fitly joined together and building each other in love, we build congregations that we entice with events and pacify with programs (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Church has become a ritualistic weekly event, more than a catalyst for a divine cause (Genesis 1:28). Programs and fund raisers have trumped the command to “go into all the world”. Jesus gave us clear a directive. Matthew 28:19-20 is not a suggestion, it is the marching orders of the kingdom. We must make disciples of every nation. The church has been empowered to carry this mission out in the world. But unfortunately, we have been fooled into placing more emphasis on the ‘church’ we go to, rather than the church we are to become! It is more acceptable to be seen in church than it is to be sent into the world through the church.
Before I go any further, I want to shout emphatically that I love the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to see her become the beautiful bride Jesus will return to. However, I believe that our view of ‘church’ must drastically change in these last days. I submit to you that what we call church in the 21st Century is completely different from the church seen throughout the New Testament.
Jesus said the gates of hell will not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:18). Yet, in our quest for social relevancy, the modern day church has embraced hellish philosophies that completely undermine the Christ and His Kingdom. Paul declared that ‘principalities and powers’ would know God’s wisdom through the church, but we battle each other with denominational sectarianism and wonder why we are ineffective (Ephesians 3:10). The Apostle Paul later said that the house of God is the ‘pillar and ground of the truth’, but our religious version of the truth is so dysfunction that most people cannot discern between New Testament Christianity and New Age deceptions.
I want you to re-think what you may believe about the ‘church’. I want you to be empowered to ‘be the church’. I am committed to planting New Testament Churches that reflect the values and practices of the church that was birthed at Pentecost!
“JESUS IS BUILDING HIS CHURCH – HIS WAY – IN THE 21ST CENTURY! Are you ready? www.ntcdonline.org/blog.html
Tim Kurtz is the founder of The Center for New Testament Church Development. The ministry was formed in 2010 with the mission to plant regional churches that reflect the values and structure of the first century church.