If truly the building is not the church, but we are, then the focus should be on what we are becoming as a people; than the architectural and structural design, size, beauty, furnishings, equipment, capacity, dimensions of the building. Even though i do not have any problem with the church building looking good and decent for corporate worship. I said somewhere before that, “The coven of witchcraft doesn’t make one a witch; rather, the spirit of witchcraft does!
Same way, the church building does not make one a Christian, but the Spirit of Christ”! Therefore, the magnificence of the building cannot determine the quality and calibre of the men being raised and produced; whether it be a state of the art structure or a dilapidated building, or a sitting room, or under a tree, or in the woods.
If our paradigm does not shift from seeing the building as the church and trying to build a ‘mega church’, to the people, it will affect grossly how and what we are building. As long as the mega church is our design, the focus will be to either come to the building and watch the workforce minister to us, or join the workforce to do ministry in the church. Because of this singular mentality, the believers will either have double standards of living (bipolar); one person in the church, and another person entirely outside the church. Or at most, become a good, honest, and maybe prosperous citizens in society with good morals and integrity, but can’t command much impact in the society or their primary spheres of influence.
The early Church concentrated on disciplining the believers into maturity, and they (the disciples) in turn making disciples (Acts 2:42-47; 4:23-37). This pattern was so strong that even when the persecution of the church came, after the death of Stephen, it only resulted to planting more churches and raising of more disciples (Acts 8:3-5; 26-40; 9:26-31; 11:19-27). Paul, the apostle, gave his own account of ministry in Ephesus, how that from the first day he came into Asia, his lifestyle and teachings helped them become worthy disciples. How he never withheld anything that was profitable to them, but showed and taught them publicly, and from house to house the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:18-21). He was confident of the product he was leaving behind, even if they never saw his face again, he was sure of the quality of disciples he has made. No matter the attack that would come to them, he knew that the church he has built would stand the test of time; meanwhile, there was no evidence he left them with any physical structure (Acts 20:25-32).
When we are building a mega church and not the people, the focus is on gathering the crowd, the offering, invitation, gathering, retention, and maintenance. But if the people is what we are building, the aim would be to win, integrate, train, and release men into the harvest filed. In the mega church, worship services may not hold, or be considered an anointed service if the overseer is not around; as if it is a personality cult that is being heralded. Some lead pastors can never afford to be absent on any Sunday no matter what the case may be. But worship services would hold comfortably without the lead pastor if the focus is on the people.
Potentials are inhibited, or slowly discovered and developed, and saints stagnate in the mega church setting, while they are easily discovered and deployed for use when the people become the church. Celebrity musicians and ‘super pastors’ come to entertain their audience in the mega church, in return for the tithes and offerings, but everyone is a worshiper when the people are the church. When Peter and James were arrested and it was no longer safe to meet in the church building, the church didn’t close down, neither did they need an online broadcast from Peter from prison before they could hold a worship service. Even Peter, the supposed daddy G. O, had a house church he attended; and they could hold a prayer service in his absence, and in fact, they were having the prayers for his release (Acts 12:11-17). They broke bread and took communion at home and not just in the building. Online services as good as they may be should not replace the place of the home churches that are self administered and self propagating. And house churches shouldn’t be reduced to retention and maintenance centres in waiting for the end of the lock down laws, but instead, become a strategic discipleship centre for kingdom expansion and extension.
Witches go to the coven for fellowship, training, empowerment and release into the marketplace to wreck havoc; and likewise, we should go to the church for fellowship, training, empowerment and release into the marketplace to do good. The teachers and trainers in other faiths and religions have an expectation of what their protégés should become after their period of training, and the church should know what they expect a CONVERT to become too after a period of discipleship. If this become our goal and every believer is being trained, there would be no room for church transfers, but we all would be forced into the harvest field to win souls. How to become more like Christ in His image, and represent Him in His authority accurately in the marketplace is the goal of discipleship! Not just becoming a good person, having a good job, a fine house, driving the latest car or becoming the richest men in town.
The church must become deliberate and apostolic in her approach, and I believe that the Covid-19 pandemic and the lock downs has afforded us the privilege to re-strategize and reposition the church for global impact. Folks, it is time for forceful kingdom advancement, by the emerging end time army of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Ele Adejoh is the Senior Pastor of End Time Universal Mission Inc. – CTI Abuja. Located in Bwari, F. C. T. Abuja, Nigeria .