Jesus, Not Our Ministries, Is The Point
I’ve watched over the years as churches who want to share the Gospel spend resources promoting their meetings or their organization. Time and energy is spent perfecting an experience for people who come to a meeting so that those who come can hear the Gospel. While wanting people to hear the Gospel is a noble motive, often the organization, the church, or the meeting subtly become the focus, instead of Christ.
The problem comes from a misunderstanding of our mandate: We are to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). Jesus will build His church (Matthew 16:18). But often we find ourselves in the place of trying to build Jesus’ church (doing Jesus’ job) while we expect Him to make disciples (our job). When we do our job of making disciples, the result will be a church built by Jesus. But when we cross over into the realm of building the church, we take on a job suitable only for Jesus.
Our task, is to share the Gospel of Jesus. When people respond to the Gospel, our job is to help those who respond grow up into Christ’s image. This will include committing to a local community of people who are also growing up into the image of Christ. But sharing the gospel and discipling believers looks totally different than the way most “build the church.” This is why I’ve often said “church planting is best understood as a discipleship process that leaves a church in its wake.”
When we make disciples and let Jesus build the church we no longer need to spend time building the church. We don’t have to promote our churches or its ministries, because they aren’t the point. We don’t have to become people who sell a church, ministry, or book. Instead the resurrected Jesus who called us to Himself can be the point of everything we do. This is why Paul said, “[W]e don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake,” (2 Corinthians 4:5).
Imagine, for a moment, a Christianity where the churches spent time not only preaching Christ but also preaching its ministers as servants. Instead of glorying in the greatness of the church and its leaders it glories in the greatness of Christ and the slavery of its spiritual eldership to those who are part of it. Imagine a Christianity that is known for the greatness of Jesus and the service of others. That kind of church would have the world’s attention.
So don’t be tempted into promoting yourself, your church meeting, or your event. Share Jesus. Make disciples. Trust that if you do both those well, Christ will be glorified and He will build His church.