I have been part of many church building programs. I’ve heard the book of Nehemiah preached as an example of a successful church building program. However, there is a church building program that I have rarely heard mentioned, and yet, this church building program is guaranteed! That’s right, this program is guaranteed to build the church without going into debt one penny.
I like to call this program “God’s Guaranteed Church Building Program”:
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV)
Did you catch that last phrase? By following this simple procedure, the church is guaranteed to “build itself up”! Isn’t that awesome! Isn’t that amazing! But, what is this procedure?
1. Put Christ in his proper position as the head of the church.
2. Allow, encourage, and expect all believers to serve one another.
3. Do not allow a single person or a small group of people (including leaders) to do everything.
4. Help each person to work properly among their brothers and sisters.
That’s it – four easy steps to guaranteed church growth.
Yes, I know what you may be thinking: This is not the kind of church building program that I had in mind. I understand your problem. However, it does seem that this is the kind of church building program that God has in mind. Perhaps its time to change your mind.
Perhaps there are others among you – leaders especially – who may be thinking something like this: But, those other members of the church could never do what I do; they just don’t have the experience, the talent, the training, or the education. My suggestion: You’re doing the wrong things. According to this guaranteed church building program, the church will grow only when ALL parts of the church are doing their part, not when you are doing everything the best you can.
Then, there is another question that rises about this church building program: But, if I let other people do the work, they may not do it correctly. Again, you are absolutely correct. People are going to fail. That’s why God has provided mature brothers and sisters like yourself to help them learn from their mistakes and to grow toward maturity in Christ. Perhaps you can do everything better than others – that’s good. But, according to God, that’s not best. God’s solution is for everyone to work together.
There you have it: God’s guaranteed church building program. And, the best thing about this program is that you do not have to buy a book or attend a conference. You simply trust God to work through the people that he has brought together. You allow him to use you and others to teach, lead by example, and encourage others to work together. And God says that when we do this, the church will build itself up in love. Guaranteed.