Misconception: A “Church” Building vs. “Man’s Building” in Police Encounter
When I was in law enforcement, our shift needed to practice some arrest techniques and training. So, as we were a tactical unit on patrol, we saw a building where church meetings were held and pulled over to train on the open property. I have no doubt they referred to this building as “their church,” as you’ll soon find out. Later, we discovered it was actually a “man’s building.” As we began training, the man who was watching over his “church” building came running towards us – the local law enforcement – telling us that we had to leave. He said we couldn’t conduct our training on the “church” property because it was too risky for them if they saw someone getting hurt. It’s important to note that the building was empty and not in use at that time. The man had no understanding that we were all building material for God’s building. We were available for him to share the Gospel with us and to invite Jesus Christ into our hearts so that we could become part of the building of God. However, he chose “man’s building” over “God’s Building” and chased us away – “humans” who are created in the image and likeness of God. Christ died for us so that we could be saved. This was all done to protect a man-made building. I Corinthians 3:9, 3:16-17, Ephesians 2:19-22, Colossians 1:22-23, Galatians 3:28, I Peter 2:9, Genesis 1:26-27
Now, imagine with me that if this “Christian” had known he was the building of God, and that God wanted him to seek and save those who are lost so that they could become part of the building of God, he wouldn’t have seen it as a burden when someone was at “his building.” Instead, he would have considered it a blessing and would have joined and celebrated our presence. He would have asked if we needed something to drink, or if there was anything he could do to help us. He might have thought about thanking us for protecting him, his family and community. He would have shared with us what Jesus died to make known to us: His love, forgiveness, and His desire for us to become His Building. Unfortunately, this man ran the opportunity for a harvest away and refused to allow it on “his property.” A builder would say, “You just ran my lumber off, now, how can I build?”
Numerous schemes and “plans” are devised by men to “build” God’s church. However, the word of God unequivocally tells us that God’s building, His temple, is not constructed by human hands. The only temple God desires is comprised of those who, through His power, earnestly seek and, by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, find salvation. It is within your heart that God desires to reside and establish His building, His abiding place.
Therefore, when someone approaches you and expresses a desire to “build a church,” it’s crucial to inquire by asking, “Can you elaborate on what you mean?” Why is this important? Quite often, they are referring to physical elements like bricks, mortar, wood, nails, or the conversion of a previous establishment, perhaps adorned with a cross, and then naming it “the Church.” However, Scripture instructs us that when discussing building the church, the focus should be on building people—strengthening their lives in Christ, aiding them in becoming disciples of Jesus. If you are in search of “building material” for the Building of God, you won’t find it at local stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot. Instead, you will find it at the local community park, your workplace, the marketplace—wherever people gather. This man, mentioned above, who ran the police off his property found building material for the Building of God on his property and ran it away. This is where the building material resides. Acts 17:24-25, I Corinthians 3:16-17, John 4:21-24, 2 Corinthians 5:1, Matthew 28:19-20, Ephesians 2:19-22
If You Build It, They Will Come?
It’s amazing how many people who are called into the ministry make finding a building or building a building their first priority. They have no money, they have no followers, yet all they can think about is “I need a building, a band, a stage, some seats, and a sign…” God delivered them from the debt of their sin, called them to help Him Build His Building, His Church, and instead of doing that, they chose to build their own building and get into debt. Then they get angry with God because of the burden of the building and often end up blaming their choice to build their building on God. Remember this wisdom, it can save you a lot of heartache, “God doesn’t care how much money and time you have invested on building an idol, He just wants it out of your life.”
Oftentimes, individuals fall into the trap of embracing the notion, “If you build it, they will come.” Living and ministering with this perspective, they dedicate their lives to promoting the edifice, the building, they constructed, disregarding God’s building, He built. Rather than fearing the potential loss of souls—God’s Building—they dread the jeopardy of losing “their building” whether next month’s mortgage can be met or if another wing can be adding on to their building. Consequently, they pressure “God’s building” (His people) to toil and cater to “their building.” They instruct “God’s building” that their attention should be directed toward their building. Announcements, often concerning their structure, proliferate. Frequently, discussions revolve around expanding or acquiring new premises for their building.
Inevitably, the people of God (who constitute His building) begin to gauge success—be it their own or that of their pastor—by man’s building, instead of God’s building, the people. Is it sufficiently grand? Is it overly modest? The inquiries echo: “How many are you running?” The unspoken code for all these queries is, “How many are you accommodating?” Regrettably, due to their fixation on their own structure (man’s building), those entangled in this human-made tradition scarcely acknowledge God’s incredible work of grace, love, and compassion in the lives of His people—as His true Building. Perhaps, they harbor apprehension that if God’s people realize their role as the Building of God, they might forsake them and their building? An intriguing contemplation indeed. Just so you know, “The average United States congregation sees 65 people gather each week, according to the 2020 FACT study.” It’s not what those who promote their building make it out to be.
We’re called to make disciples, which is building on God’s Building of which Jesus is the Cornerstone. God didn’t call His people to build buildings, He called us to build people, which are His building. Matthew 28:19-20, Ephesians 2:19-22, I Corinthians 3:9, I Peter 2:4-5, I Corinthians 12:12-14
The Burden of Buildings
There was this one instance where believers gathered in homes, fostering fellowship as they followed the Lord’s directive to seek and save the lost. Their church experienced growth as a result as God added to their numbers those being saved. Acts 2:47 Over time, the congregation expanded, prompting them to move meetings to two houses due to space constraints in the first one. As the Building of God (comprising the saved individuals) continued to flourish, they extended their reach to more houses, creating a network of house churches.
In due course, a thought emerged collectively: while they cherished the ongoing transformation led by the Lord, they pondered organizing occasional communal gatherings or community-focused events in a dedicated space declaring “Let us build a building.” Astonishingly, five decades have elapsed since that day, and they remain entrenched in that building. Charles Simpson, the one who shared and experienced this, said one day they walked into the building, and they never came out. I’ve been trying to get them out of that building ever since. Curiously, the vibrant growth they witnessed, when the Lord was adding to their numbers daily when their focus wasn’t on constructing a human edifice, has since ceased. Regrettably, man’s buildings are where God’s building often goes to die. Exodus 20:4-6, Exodus 32:1-4
“”Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?'” Acts 7:48-50
You Know It All by Its Fruit, Right?
38% of pastors have thought about quitting full-time ministry in the past year… 4,000 churches closed and 20,000 pastors left the ministry in one year alone. In addition to those staggering realities, 50% of pastors say they would leave the ministry if they had another way of making a living. 50% of pastors feel unable to meet the needs of their job; 70% of pastors say they now have lower self-esteem today than they did when they first started ministry; 80% of pastors believe the pastoral ministry has affected their family negatively.
Here are some revealing statistics about the church and pastors:
- 1,500 pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.
- 4,000 new churches begin each year, but over 7,000 churches close.
- 80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
- 70% of pastors do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor.
- 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
- 90%t of pastors said their seminary or Bible school training did only a fair to poor job preparing them for ministry.
- 90% of pastors said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people.
- 80% of pastors’ spouses feel their spouse is overworked.
- 80% of pastor’ wives feel left out and unappreciated by the church members.
- 80% of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
- 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
- 40% of pastors polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.
- 80% of adult children of pastors surveyed have had to seek professional help for depression.
Porn and Pastors:
- Most pastors (57%) and youth pastors (64%) admit they have struggled with porn, either currently or in the past.
- Overall, 21% of youth pastors and 14% of pastors admit they currently struggle with using porn.
- About 12% of youth pastors and 5% of pastors say they are addicted to porn
- 87% of pastors who use porn feel a great sense of shame about it.
Many of these statistical realities, I believe, are caused by making church about our building instead of God’s building, which makes “man’s building” one’s idle and leaves a pastor who God has called to Build His Building frustrated, depressed, judged and measured by the traditions of man and his buildings, which leads him into sin. If a shepherd is not spending time with the sheep, being a shepherd makes no sense, and leads the shepherds, i.e., pastors frustrated, depressed, confused and captive. Isaiah 28:12-13 A true shepherd finds pleasure and meaning in being with the sheep. Is it time to leave man’s buildings for God’s Building? “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” Jonah 2:8 There is a grace awaiting you, I believe, when you stop working on man’s buildings and start loving God by helping and working on His Building. Hebrews 6:10
God never rebuked a pastor (shepherd) for not taking care of a building. He rebuked them for not taking care of His people, i.e., His Building! Jeremiah 23:1-4
In America, the Church has been turned into an enterprise. Most decisions must be made by the church board, which is how an enterprise is run. According to George Barna, the American Church is paying 1.3 million dollars per baptized believer. Could you imagine Jesus having to pay $1.3 million for each person who chose to follow Him? [Of course, He paid a much higher price with His own life, but I am speaking figuratively. Although every soul is worth a greater value than all the money in the world due to God’s love for mankind and Jesus’ sacrifice, He and the Father paid for each one.]
Due to man’s adherence to traditional practices, the church often fails to effectively utilize the hard-earned funds provided through tithes and offerings, which rightfully belong to the Lord. These funds possess the potential to reach and impact millions of souls. Unfortunately, the emphasis on maintaining and investing in “men’s buildings” leads to limited results, often resulting in the salvation of just one soul costing “man’s traditional buildings” $1.3 Million, for “one baptized believer,” despite the vast possibilities offered by the resources. Matthew 7:15-20
A Family Not a Building
So, what is the pure expression of the Church? Rick Joyner shares about a shift in the Church and how the pure expression of it is family. God’s Building is family! The Church is shifting back to this pure expression, family! Father God gave His Son Jesus Christ, on behalf of His creation so that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become sons and daughters of God, family! How do we get back to family? One way to do this is to relate to God as our Father. Jesus shares how we can talk to His Father in Matthew 6:9-10, “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” and those who fellowship with us as our brothers and sisters?
Jesus, “stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:49-50 That’s how you describe family, which is the Building of God.
Why is all this happening? Could it be because we’ve turned our backs on God’s Building and have made it about man’s buildings? Could it be the reality that things we’ve built in the flesh has become a stumbling block and a heavy burden to us? Could it be you are “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down?” Mark 7:13, 1 Peter 2:7-8
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT. Matthew 11:28-30
- The Role of the Holy Spirit in the Church
- The Evolution of Christianity: From Religion to Enterprise
- Did God Call Us to Organized Religion or Connected Family?
- Re-Thinking Church – Stats say it isn’t Working
- Re-Thinking Church; The Jesus Revolution
- Taking Church Outside the Building
- Small is the New Big Phil Robertson, and Kirk Cameron speak on the Church Dynasty and Its Growing Pains into a Better Way
- Super Chicken Study & Super Church, Exploring Myths and Truths
- Prophecy: Epicenter of Christianity Moving West to Asia- Seeking Pure Gospel and Pure Expression of Christianity, says Rick Joyner
Jesus Didn’t Die for Your Building, He Died for God’s Building!
I have nothing against man’s buildings. I love their architecture, their beauty, the engineering, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, air conditioning and heading, protection from extreme weather or even gentle rains, but in the end, they are man’s building. I’ve always joked around when talking about God’s Building vs. man’s building, because people take ‘their buildings’ so personally, by saying “I’ve got a good friend who is a building.”
How can someone who was born into a wealthy family, grew up living in the nicest buildings a man can build, with some of the finest foods, and kindness servant, be so miserable, empty, and suicidal? It’s because no matter how nice it all is, it’s “man’s building.” Buildings don’t save people, Jesus does, and then He makes them His building.
You Are the Building of God!
I Corinthians 3:19-15
“For we are co-workers in God’s service; YOU ARE GOD’S FIELD, GOD’S BUILDING. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”
From God’s Building to Man’s Building?
How did we come so far away from building God’s Building [people] upon Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone, to building man’s buildings? From this scripture, not only is the true ‘Building of God’ revealed and the ‘Field of God’ in which God’s Building resides, but we are clearly told that if we build man’s buildings, even with gold, silver, costly stone, wood, hay, or stubble, our work will be revealed for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. This scripture reveals that, “Everyone is “building something,” but in the end, what we built will be tested by fire.
Man’s buildings should be a byproduct of God’s Building. Hence, when it becomes necessary to seek shelter from the elements, look for ‘a place’ for ‘God’s Building’ to gather, always knowing that it’s God’s Building and His presence that is the church, not the place you gather. For where one or two are gathered in Jesus’ name, He rules over them, His Building, as the King and Shepherd He is. Matthew 18:20
When you make man’s building ‘the church,’ don’t be surprised when God’s Building [His People] refuses to or is unable to realize they are God’s Building. Leading them to relinquish all their responsibilities as God’s Building, that which Christ has called them to be and do for Him, over to your building.
It’s been said by some, ‘God spends half of a person’s life trying to get them in the church, the last half of their life trying to get them to go out from the church.’ First of all, God does not spend half of a person’s life trying to get anyone into ‘your building’ – ‘your church.’ He is inviting them to His Building, His Temple, where He dwells. I believe this confusion exists because teachers didn’t teach them ‘for works of service,‘ as clearly stated in the Word of God that plainly says they are the Building of God and how to be the Children of God. Not teaching God’s people, who too, like Jesus, are to be in the Father’s business of seeking and saving those who are lost. ‘From Jesus [the Cornerstone], the whole body [Building of God], joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows, and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Luke 19:10, John 17:17-23, Ephesians 4:11-16, Acts 17:24-28
It seems that traditions of men have fused man’s buildings with God’s Building thereby confusing Jesus’ followers to the point that they have no clue they are the Building of God.
- Has Much of the Church Become Institutionalized? The Price of Freedom! Jesus Came So That We Could Be Set Free!
- If you Had to Explain Church to someone, not from your Own Experiences, but by what The Bible says; What would You Say?’ asks Francis Chan
- Jesus and the Great Expectation; Then they WENT OUT
- Vine Seminar: Original Intent of the Church
- The Church is Good, but Religion has to GO
- The Bigger the Church the Fewer its Members that do anything for God, Duke University Study Finds
People are Hard To Work With
One of the reason our sin nature turns to working with physical building rather than the spiritual building made up flawed human’s who are saved by grace is people are hard to work with. Everyone has been given their free will by God and have to choose to do what is right. Often their choices seldom fall in harmony with others, hence people are “all over the place.” Yet, it’s people, who are created in the image and likeness of God that Jesus paid the price for so that they can be saved and live with Him forever in eternity. Since God is in love with difficult people, and we are called as part of His Church, His Building, we have to resist the temptation to turn away from working with and on them and start working on “our buildings.”
Acacia Wood and You
I find it interesting that we are the Tabernacle of God, and the shadow of the Tabernacle—Moses’ Tabernacle—that God instructed Moses to use acacia wood for its construction. Romans 1:20, 15:4 Exodus 25:10-28 Acacia wood was used for making the Ark, the Table of Showbread, the Altar of Incense, and various other components of the Tabernacle and its furnishings.
Working with acacia wood presents several notable challenges stemming from its inherent hardness. The wood’s substantial hardness can prove formidable when utilizing hand tools or traditional woodworking methods, necessitating the use of exceptionally sharp and robust tools for cutting, shaping, and carving. However, this hardness also means that tools can quickly become dulled in the process, demanding more frequent tool sharpening to maintain effectiveness. Even sanding, a fundamental finishing step, becomes an arduous task due to acacia wood’s resistance to smoothing, contrasting with the ease of working with softer woods. Furthermore, the wood’s dense composition heightens the risk of splits and cracks, particularly if it is not adequately dried before implementation. Compounding these difficulties, certain species of acacia encompass natural resins that can gum up tools and introduce complications during the finishing stages of a project. To summarizes what God used to compare us human’s to, acacia wood, when working with them to make them into a tabernacle for His presence is: hardness, blunting of tools, hard to sand, splits and cracks easy.
Understanding this, you can see why someone says, I’m worn out working on people, I think I’ll just build a building and be done with it. Yet, in the end, at your Christmas Cantata that is still your building, not God’s Building.
Interesting note: The family carved out of wood as the image for this article was carved from acacia wood.
Dwelling With You
“’If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling place with him.” John 10:23
In 2 Samuel 6 and 1 Chronicles 13-15, we encounter the profound journey of King David’s desire to bring God’s presence into the heart of the nation, into his own home. The Ark of the Covenant, a sacred vessel that embodied God’s presence and covenant, held immense significance. It was not just a relic but a vessel through which God’s glory manifested. David’s yearning to have the Ark in Jerusalem mirrored our longing to have God’s presence dwell within us and our homes, into the true Building of God.
When David attempted to move the Ark initially, tragedy struck. Uzzah’s untimely death reminded us of the sanctity and reverence required when seeking God’s presence. This incident caused David to pause and reflect, leading him to leave the Ark at Obed-Edom’s house. The blessings that overflowed in Obed-Edom’s home were a testament to the tangible impact of God’s presence in a household. This resonates with our aspiration to have God’s presence not only in large gatherings of the church but also intimately within our homes and hearts.
When man finds out the price for hosting God’s presence he often decides to set “his church” up down the street, while leaving his home empty of God’s presence, just as David did.
David’s jealousy and desire after witnessing the blessings on Obed-Edom’s household mirrored our innate longing for God’s blessings. We often find ourselves drawn to the blessing’s others experience in their relationship with God, yearning for the same. Like David, we must recognize that the blessings come not just from proximity to sacred ark of God’s presence but from the depth of our connection to God as His dwelling place, His Building.
If you think your home is not a place where God’s presence, His Church, can gather, you need to pray again and ask if God has truthfully called you into the ministry. 1 Timothy 3:5
In a parallel sense, just as David’s longing extended beyond a mere building up the street, we are called to recognize that we are God’s temple. We, ourselves, are the dwelling place of His presence, God’s Building, God’s Field. The challenge lies in ensuring that we do not become complacent, content with confining God’s presence to a physical building or occasional religious rituals. Instead, we must mirror David’s determination to learn, sacrifice, and align our hearts with God’s ways to cultivate His presence within us. As the psalmist says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Are we willing to follow in David’s footsteps in not merely being satisfied with God’s presence being in a building up the street, but actively seeking to make our hearts and homes a place where God’s glory presence dwells? Just as David turned his jealousy, seeing God’s blessing upon Obed-Edom’s house, into fervent pursuit, we can channel our yearning for God’s blessings into a sincere quest for His presence within ourselves and our households. This requires more than a superficial façade; it entails a transformative journey of repentance, dedication, and alignment with God’s will, inviting His blessings to manifest in our lives.
- There is Something Special When the Church Comes Together as Family
- The Bible doesn’t Tell us to Plant Churches, the Bible tells us to Make Disciples – The Church is the byproduct
- Explosive Church Growth in Cuba; Following Simple Biblical Truth
- Family: God’s Original Intent for the Church – It’s like the Church of Acts: dreams, visions, miracles, healings
- House Church or CHURCH that meets in the House: A Big Difference!
Show Me Your Glory
Moses, like David, wanted to see and experience the glory presence of God. He cried out to God “Show me your glory.”
“Then Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory.’ And he said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.’ And the Lord said, ‘Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.'” (Exodus 33:18-23, ESV)
In this passage, Moses expresses his desire to see God’s glory. God responds by granting Moses a limited glimpse of His glory by allowing Moses to see His back, but not His face. This passage highlights the awe-inspiring nature of God’s presence and His holiness, which is beyond human comprehension. It also demonstrates God’s willingness to reveal Himself to Moses to a certain extent while acknowledging the limitations of human interaction at that time, before Jesus, with His presence.
That Has All Changed
Now the Jesus has not only become our Lord and Savior, but also the great High Priest in heaven making intercession for us before the Father, we can now boldly enter into God’s presence and have God’s presence enter into us as His Building, i.e., the Temple of God.
‘Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’ Hebrews 4:14-16
It’s Time to Join the Master Builder
God’s building starts with people, for they are His building material. It is to them we share the love of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and invite them to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. If they accept Jesus as their Lord, and follow Him, they are then the body of Christ, the building of God. When we help them, the Building of God, God sees that as us helping Him and loving Him. Mark 16:15-20, Hebrews 6:10
Are you ready to go into the Lord’s harvest fields as His ambassadors, making His appeal to them for their very souls and trust God with His Building and Jesus with His leadership in what and where He desires His Building to dwell, and where is Field is to be stablished? Matthew 9:38, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Peter 2:4-5 (ESV)
The Cornerstone of God’s Building
A cornerstone is a foundational stone that is laid at the corner of a building or structure. It serves as a reference point for the alignment of the other stones or bricks that make up the walls. The cornerstone is often inscribed with important information about the building, such as its date of construction, the names of builders or architects, and sometimes even ceremonial or symbolic elements.
“Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone…” Ephesians 2:20 (ESV)
“For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.'” 1 Peter 2:6 (ESV)
Jesus is the cornerstone of God’s Building. Just as a cornerstone holds pivotal importance in building construction, Jesus holds the central and foundational role in the Christian faith. He is the reference point that aligns the structure of God’s Building, as believers, we’re to align our beliefs and values to Jesus as our cornerstone. He is the first born from the dead, the head of the church, the cornerstone of God’s Building, the church. As a cornerstone often bears inscriptions of historical significance, Jesus carries the weight of eternal history, teachings, and principles. He is the unshakable foundation upon which Christianity, the Building of God, is constructed, and He is the strength, stability, and the essential element upon which all else rests. He is the word of God, the word of God Who became flesh. He is the image of the invisible God, King of kings, and Lord of lords. Everything is centered around Him, and everything is being brought up under Him. For He is the ruler of the kings of the earth, kings whose heart He directs like a river. Ephesians 1:10, Colossians 1:18, I Corinthians 15:20, Revelation 1:5, Proverbs 21:1, Daniel 2:12, Job 12:23-25
Jesus, our Cornerstone, “gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. [Notice, it’s the body of Christ that is built up, not “buildings.”]
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows, and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:11-16
- Back to Basics for the Church
- Rethinking Church- Not Us and Them, Just US
- Church is an Organism, not an Organization
- Re -Thinking Church- Vision for the Outside
- Re –Thinking Church Revisited
- Re-Thinking Church – Stats say it isn’t Working
- Re-thinking Church
- Re-Thinking Church- Institutionalized, Confined, and Contented?
- Rethinking Church: We made it Up, George Barna
- Re-Thinking Church: God is a God of order but his name is not Robert
- Activating the Church and Community by ReImagine
- Billy Graham’s NEW Decision Magazine Filled with Timely, Relevant Issues the Church is Facing Today
- Article and programs on exploring God’s “The Original Intent of the Church”
Building View vs. A Biblical World View
Many are noticing that the days of yesterday are quickly changing and are no more. George Barna’s book, America at the Crossroads, reveals this very important reality in the Church. So much has changed in the recent years that Barna could only go as far as 10 years and discuss the rapid changes that are happening within those professing to be believers. Note, that these statistics have only grown darker since their recording in 2016. At the onset, ”90% Nine out of ten adults believe in “God””, but as we look closer and closer, we will see this is far from the actual reality within the Church. “Fewer than half of all Americans (45%) contend that Jesus Christ is alive today.
We must become Biblical aware of what is so that we can clearly identify what does not align with, and what contradicts what the Bible teaches. “Most people lean toward believing that the Bible, Koran, and Book of Mormon are simply different expressions of the same spiritual truths.” While at the same time, “Only 1 out of 8 adults consider themselves to be “highly knowledgeable” about the content of the Bible.”
By taking the time to have a lifestyle that incorporates the teachings and ways of the Bible, it significantly effects how we look at the world. This would be classified as having a “Biblical worldview”.
Barna writes, “Those who have a Biblical world view are:
12x LESS LIKELY to engage in extramarital sex.
9x MORE LIKELY to avoid adult-only material on the internet.
8x LESS LIKELY to gamble.
5x MORE LIKELY to believe that satan is real, not just a symbol of evil.
5x LESS LIKELY to believe the Bible, the Koran and the Book of Mormon are simply different expressions of the same truth.
4x MORE LIKELY to reject the idea that a person can reach Heaven through personal goodness or doing good works.
3x MORE LIKELY to affirm the holiness of Jesus Christ
3X MORE LIKELY to pray for the President.
Could it be that the church, the Building of God, has lost its Biblical Worldview, because man made it about their building instead of God’s Building? Has man only taught God’s people about his building, but not how to be God’s Building in the world today. Have they settled for people just showing up in their building instead of training them up and launching them out? One pastor, who is no longer in ministry today, referred to those who ‘showed up’ in ‘his church’ – as ‘giving units’ meaning people who gave towards ‘his building.’ Is this what religious leaders have turned God’s Building into, “giving units” to pay for “his building?” These are questions to ponder in a world where much of the church looks and acts no differently than the world they claimed to be saved out of, instead of being transformed as we’re so clearly told to be. Romans 12:1-2.
You might assume that I am advocating for people to leave the church and wander aimlessly? God forbid, I am not saying that at all. On the contrary, as Jesus told the religious leaders of his day, you might be rendering God’s word ineffective through your traditions. I’m saying that if you shift from human constructs to God’s design, everyone who claims God as their Lord should celebrate this transition. What I am emphasizing is the need to “be the church” – the “Building of God” – and to take ownership of your responsibility as part of God’s Building, remaining united and engaged, with each believer contributing their effort. A people aren’t defined as a church solely by man-made structures; it’s through God’s building, with Jesus as its head and Chief Cornerstone.
Since, we are going to be held accountable for what Jesus expects from each of us in the Building of God, which scripture clearly tells us we will be, don’t you think it’s about time we start being what Jesus died for us to be, the Building of God, the Light of Christ in the world, the ambassadors of Jesus Christ making His appeal to the lost? Don’t you think it’s time to “Be the Church Building” instead of just going to man’s building? Matthew 25
In a world where income disparities among nations are stark, the question of missions and the allocation of resources becomes critical. Contrasting the hourly wages between Nigeria and the United States, where the average American earns $15.00 an hour compared to Nigeria’s $0.60, sheds light on the vast economic differences. As American churches invest heavily in building expenses, upkeep, mortgages, electricity, insurance, and staff salaries, the question arises: Are they truly investing in the heart of God’s kingdom—the people themselves? Scripture refers to believers as “The Building of God,” raising the poignant comparison between man-made structures and the genuine work of nurturing God’s living temple.
The income disparity between nations is strikingly evident when comparing the average wages. Nigeria’s hourly wage of $0.60 seems meager in contrast to America’s $15.00. Yet, as American churches pour resources into constructing and maintaining elaborate buildings, the human aspect often takes a backseat. With the wages of laborers in mind, it’s essential to reevaluate the allocation of funds. A church’s true foundation lies not in bricks and mortar, but in fostering spiritual growth and genuine community. The contrast between these realities sparks a deeper conversation about where true investment should lie.
Mission(s) Beyond Numbers
The disparities in wages and financial allocations raise questions about the core mission of churches. While American churches may spend substantial amounts on buildings, staff salaries, and other expenses, the true heart of the church lies in its ministry to the community and beyond. Rather than focusing solely on financial investments, the church’s calling is to uplift individuals, nurture spiritual growth, and support global missions. The numbers may paint a picture of financial priorities, but the true mission goes far beyond figures—it’s about impacting lives and making a lasting difference.
In the end, how do you prayerfully feel the Lord will see is choosing our buildings for His offerings instead of His building?
Your Buildings vs. Missions for God’s Building
I strongly recommend prayerfully considering and weighing the prospects of your ministry, whether you are just beginning or a long-time pastor stepping into a completely empty building on a Monday, en route to your pastor’s office. If your weekly schedule consists of one, one-hour service, your building remains empty for approximately 98.8% of each week (166.5 out of 168 hours). These empty hours cost an estimated $481.00 per week, or $24,960.00 per year. This amount could cover a Nigerian’s income for 23 years. In the case of two, two-hour services per week, your building remains unoccupied for about 97.5% of the week (164 out of 168 hours). These empty hours would cost an estimated $474.00 per week, or $24,648.00 per year. This could cover a Nigerian’s income for 20 years. And if you hold three, two-hour services a week, your building would be vacant for roughly 96.1% of the week (161.5 out of 168 hours). These empty hours would cost an estimated $467.00 per week, or $24,284.00 per year. This amount could cover a Nigerian’s income for 20 years.*
Man’s buildings may be impressive, but God’s building is truly magnificent. Constructing and maintaining these structures incurs significant financial expenses, often funded from God’s offerings. Frequently, churches invest substantial physical and monetary resources into these buildings, which could otherwise be directed towards the essential task of cultivating souls—the building materials for God’s eternal structure. Though locating willing participants for God’s building may be challenging, as you will have to stay in the harvest fields, not in your buildings, our investment required pales in comparison to the ultimate cost borne by Jesus Christ for His divine edifice.
Our Co-MISSION: Go Ye,
Did Jesus say, ‘Go ye, into all the world’ and build your buildings, or did He say, “Go ye, into all the world and preach the Gospel to all nations and for those who believe, baptize, and make them disciples of Jesus, ‘living stones for the Building of God, in the Field of God. Mark 16:15-16
* These dollar amounts are based on a 2023 estimate of church building expenses and everything that is involved, considering the current minimum wage of $0.60 per hour in Nigeria.