The Church Jesus Is Building – Part Twenty-Six

As we continue our look at the Church in the book of Acts, what revolutionary believers today are looking for in the Church, and what the current state of the Church is…

5> Regarding Servanthood…

Surveys indicate that in a typical week, only one of every four believers will allocate some time to serving other people. Most of that time is dedicated to volunteering in church programs that serve the believers who attend a local church – and not touching the lives of those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Seriously little effort is invested in serving needy people in their community.

Most churched Christians admit to having seen homeless or hurting people in their community or travels during the past year; a very small percentage says they interacted with any of those disadvantaged individuals.

The typical believer would rather give money to an organization to allow it to do good deeds in society than personally assist in alleviating the needs of disadvantaged people.

A reminder of the early church and what revolutionaries are looking for as seen earlier in this series…

Love is more than a feeling; it is a tangible reality when it is shared with other people through acts of selfless service. The early Church fostered the notion that serving the people was the best means of demonstrating the example that Jesus had set for them. Servanthood also showed the transformation that their faith had wrought within them. Like Christ, they lived to serve rather than to be served.

6> Regarding Spiritual Friendships…

Fewer than one out of every six churched believers has a relationship with another believer through which spiritual accountability is provided.

The most significant influence on the choices of churched believers is neither the teachings from the pulpit nor advice gleaned from fellow believers; it is messages absorbed from the media, the law, and family members.

Let’s compare that to the early church and what it is revolutionaries are looking for…

The Church was all about relationships. These friends of Jesus became friends with each other and revelled in their mutual admiration of Christ in their frequent get-togethers. The friendships they formed provided not only encouragement but also loving accountability for spiritual integrity.

7> Regarding Family Faith…

A large majority of churched believers rely upon their church, rather than their family, to train their children to become spiritually mature.

In an average month, fewer than one out of every ten churched families worships together outside of a church service; just as few pray together, other than at mealtimes; and the same minimal numbers study the Bible together at home or work together to address the needs of disadvantaged people in their community.

The likelihood of a married couple who are born again churchgoers getting divorced is the same as couples who are not disciples of Jesus.

Apart from church-based programs, the typical Christian family spends less than three hours per month in endeavours designed to jointly develop or apply their faith.

Most Christian parents do not believe they are doing a good job at facilitating the spiritual development of their children. 

Again, a reminder of the early church’s life in this area and what revolutionaries are looking for today…

Christian families taught the ways of God in their homes every day. Parents were expected to model a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led lifestyle for their children, and families were to make their home a sanctuary for God. In a very real sense, the home was the early church – supplemented by larger gatherings in the Temple and elsewhere, but never replaced by what took place in the homes of the believers.

It is time for the existing local churches to take a look at their corporate lives and make some serious changes and adjustments to what they are doing. It is simply no longer working.