Predication for a New Church
A prudent man foreseeth evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. (Proverbs 27:12)
The above scripture is apt for the times we have found ourselves as the body of Christ. A proper understanding of the times and the inevitability of change will help us position ourselves on the right side of this present move of God. There is a revival sweeping through Christianity today, and it has not started from the pulpit. If you are a pastor, or church leader, I beckon you to read what I have to say here objectively, and pray for insight from the Holy Ghost. Everything I say is in love for God and His people. The person we all, as children of God, should be concerned with pleasing is God. Doing His will should be our utmost desire.
In order for the Church to move forward in these times, we must make changes. Here's why. The current revival is fueled by a desire to know God and His will. God's people are no longer taking the pastor's word for it. Say something that isn't scripturally sound to a congregation today, and you'd be challenged tomorrow by someone who, much like the Berean Christians, has gone to check the scriptures to find what the truth is. It has recently become clear to many that tithing isn't mandatory for a believer in the new covenant, and there is no curse or punishment if you don't pay tithes. Even if you're averse to this, oblige me, continue to read. Tithing is not the purpose of this write up. Wherever you stand on the issue of tithing, understand this; tithing is only a window through which the finances of the Church are going to be scrutinized in the near future. Believers are starting to ask what the purposes of the enormous financial resources of the pentecostal church should be. Should the bulk of these resources go to erecting massive church buildings, and buying jets? Should these resources produce Universities that are too expensive for those who contributed these funds through tithes, offerings, and "seed sowing"?
We need to shift focus. It seems we've been drawn away, and the gospel is being monetized. We regard a ministry as successful by material things- church buildings, private jets, flamboyant and extravagant senior pastors. I believe we spend too much on things that do not matter as much to God. Some church buildings are unnecessary. Forgive my saying this, but it's true. God does not live in buildings made with human hands (Acts 17:24). God lives in people- His people. Therefore the bulk of the financial resources churches have at their disposal should go towards the wellbeing of God's temple- His people. It's not enough to hold services and talk "at" God's people on a weekly basis. We are the body of Christ. If you love Jesus Christ, you will take care of His body; His people. You wont just preach to them, you will see to their wellbeing. Jesus' admonition to Peter, as a proof of the love Peter had for Him, was "feed my sheep" (John 21:15-17). Your "ministry" is not as important as the people you were called to serve. There is no moral or spiritual justification for using the resources of the church to build social infrastructure that is out of the reach of most of the church. In Acts of the Apostles (verses 42-47), we see how the early church saw to the wellbeing of every member, and how they had all things in common.
God does not live in buildings made with human hands (Acts 17:24). God lives in people- His people. Therefore the bulk of the financial resources churches have at their disposal should go towards the wellbeing of God’s temple- His people.
Our benevolence must begin in the church, and flow out from the church to unbelievers, as believers learn from the example of the church leadership. There is a lot of evil in the world today because we have immobilized the hands and feet of God by our greed.
The Kingdom of God is not in meat and drink- material things, but in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). Therefore we cannot attribute the advancement of God's Kingdom to physical developments like church buildings and private jets. Allow me to shed some light on the Kingdom of God that came through Jesus Christ. We often mistake the Kingdom of God for a place. It's not. The Kingdom of God is a system, a system by which the goodness of God is extended to humanity. Recall the rich man that came to ask Jesus how to get eternal life. Jesus told him to sell whatever he has and give to the poor. The rich man went away sad because he had many possessions. Jesus then told His disciples it would be hard for anyone who is rich and trusts in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:21-24). Here's why; in the Kingdom of God you cannot be enjoying plenty and be detached from the lack of others. The profit of the earth is for all (Ecclesiastes 5:9a). The church, being the body of Christ, must take the lead in meeting needs. This is what would make us great, as Jesus said (Mark 9:35). By this scriptural logic, it is therefore immoral for a church not to use the bulk of its financial resource to serve the needs of its members ,the actual house of God, and society. There are hungry people in churches that pay millions, on a monthly basis, to park private jets at airports. When God's people come together to build a school, it's only appropriate that the majority find the fees affordable. Otherwise, what purpose does it serve?
The new Church needs to be service oriented. Jesus didn't come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45). Her purpose should be providing true fellowship, where we do not only worship God together, but also share our lives and resources. The leadership of the Church will take the lead in establishing this reality. God's House will be well kept. The Church will make the healthcare, education, and socio-cultural wellbeing of the body of Christ her priority. This is what the Kingdom of God is about. This is the church that will bring the prophecy of Isaiah to pass.