the weblog of Alan Knox

Building the church

Posted by on May 17, 2010 in discipleship, edification | 6 comments

The church starts with Jesus Christ. He said that he would build his church (Matthew 16:18). Paul said that he laid the foundation of Jesus Christ and that others were building on that foundation (1 Corinthians 3:9-11). He also says that his readers (and us?) should continue building (Ephesians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 14:1-5).

So, Jesus is still building his church, primarily through us. As God works through us by his Holy Spirit, Jesus builds his church.

But, how can we ensure that Jesus is doing the building and not us? We have good ideas and good plans and good motives and good hopes, but is Jesus building the church or are we building the church? Is there a difference? Should we be concerned?


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  1. 5-17-2010

    Very good point, Alan. Too many churches are centered on men and men’s teachings. I think the key (on our end anyway, since Jesus is building his church whether we’re on board or not) is to ground the local church on the sound teaching of the word of God, which is where Jesus is revealed to us in the first place.

    Yet neither is the answer to “let go and let God,” having a totally hands-off approach to leadership, since he has given elders to the church to equip the saints for the work of ministry by giving instruction in sound doctrine and by setting an example.

    This is something of the balance I’d propose in answer to your questions and in reflection on the passages you cite.

  2. 5-17-2010


    I wrote this before our lunch conversation. One question… Ephesians 4:11 doesn’t say elders. Why change Scripture to ‘elders’?


  3. 5-18-2010

    Alan, FWIW, my comment is in reflection on this post, not our lunch per se, though of course it’s all related. I don’t presume that your blog focuses all that much on what I think. That’s what my blog’s for. ;)

    Anyway, Ephesians 4:11 says (in part), “The apostles and the prophets and the evangelists and the shepherds and teachers.” Who exactly does “shepherds and teachers” refer to if not elders/overseers/pastors? Would you argue that elders are not to equip the saints for works of service? What point exactly do you disagree with me on?

  4. 5-18-2010

    Not sure why that smiley is over there, it should be after “what my blog’s for.” A float issue perhaps?

  5. 5-18-2010


    Oh, the joys of digital communication. My question was not one of disagreement, but of clarification. Yes, I believe that God has given elders to equip the church for works of service. I also believe that God has given all spiritually gifted believers to the church to equip the church for works of service.

    I think that “pastors/teachers” refer to those who are given the spiritual gifts of shepherding and teaching.


  6. 5-18-2010

    Haha, indeed. I think I’ll stop attempting digital communication… ;) (there goes another smiley off to the left, I bet)