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Who Owns the Church?

September 4, 2012
by

I drive past this sign occasionally. I know what it means literally, but theoretically, how might we view this? Is a church really for sale? The building is, but that is radically different from the ‘church’ described in the Bible. A biblical church is about the people, the active engagement of faith and life, a community of people bringing Jesus closer to their neighbors, the care and support of one another; in a word – relationships.

Buildings don’t provide relationships and relationships are not for sale! However, we sometimes treat church like we are shopping. In an effort to draw people in, churches create programs and opportunities that will increase attendance. Programs have value, don’t get me wrong. The problem comes when the programs are for attracting people, but they don’t subsequently grow faith in people. Such a system will surely leave people looking for another ‘bargain’. What are churches to do, get into bidding wars? Our church only requires people to work on 6 commandments. We have found 10 just too demanding. Well, our church only asks for 4% giving. We have found that 10% is just unrealistic in these economic times.

This sounds silly, but it is really selling the soul of the church when we reduce discipleship to the lowest bid. When Jesus invites us to take up our cross and lay down our life, it is an ‘all in’ invitation. We don’t get to carry crosses on days that are convenient or give up our lives during a few spare minutes we have.

What we really need to comes to grips with is the fact that Jesus already paid for the church. The question is really are we willing to live under new ownership?

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