In response to Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus said, “I will build my church”. I truly believe that Jesus has built, continues to build, and will build his church.
Wayne Jacobsen from “Lifestream” has written an excellent article called “Jesus Really Is Building His Church“. Wayne describes how Jesus builds his church beginning with a person’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This human-divine relationship pours over into intimate relationships with two or three others at a time. These smaller groups form “growing connections” that reach out to “the wider family” in Christ that is spread around the world. He concludes with this:
And it all begins when people simply connect with Jesus and learn to live in the reality of his love. As they give time and attention to those relationships he puts before them and the connections that follow will dazzle us all!
Please take the time to read Jacobsen’s entire article. I believe this is one of the clearest explanations of how Jesus builds the church that I have read. It is the model that I see Paul following in the Book of Acts as he moves from place to place. He begins with his own relationship with God, then he disciples others who disicple others. These interconnected groups recognize that there is something special about their relationship with one another because of their mutual relationships with Christ. This is the church – the community – of Jesus Christ.
Today, I see “church planters” starting with a leadership staff, an organizational chart, job descriptions, a five-year plan, a meeting location, a sign, marketing brochures, and demographics studies. I’m sure the focus on people and relationships and discipleship come along at some point. Sometimes I wonder: Are we seeing Jesus build his church, or, many times, are we building structures in place of his church?