God reveals His plans and His purpose to someone He has chosen to lead a local assembly. This person – hopefully an apostle or prophet as they are foundational and should begin new works for the Lord (1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 2:20) – receives a vision to go along with his personal calling and then he begins to build a team and implement what the Lord has showed him.
However, we have the tendency to think that this is the only way to build and so often we market our idea for others to duplicate, copy, or buy into. Thus we end up with MacChurch instead of unique and individual local assemblies built by the Lord who said “I will build My Church.” And wonder why we cannot duplicate the results that the originator of the idea or vision has reaped.
God is a God of variety and for each person He calls He has a unique vision and a unique set of blueprints to guide the building of His Church in that location and through that leader. The Scriptures are clear. God is the One who builds the church. In Acts 2, He turned a network of house churches into a mega-church, and in Acts 8 He allowed a centralized Hebrew church to be scattered all over the new world. On the one occasion He centralized a decentralized movement, and later He decentralized a centralized movement. He is a God of variety. There is only one right way to build – His way. And, it is often very different in each location.
The lesson here is that although we can study the way others do church and build their church – we must take the time and do the hard work of seeking God’s face and His unique plan and purpose for your local church so that you can build a unique expression of the body of Christ. No two churches should ever be the same. God is a God of variety. If you are a leader in a church – pray, seek God’s face, and listen to His voice and then help to build what He has revealed working together with the other leaders who are pursuing the same vision for the local house of God. If you are a member and not a leader – find out the revealed vision from your leaders and help them fulfill what God has called them to do and for which they are responsible before God to accomplish.