Be the best.
We all want the best. We want to be the best. We want to be involved with the best.
We all want to be great. In our Christian community we’ll call it, most churches want to be great. They want to be the best. Being the best isn’t a problem. It isn’t wrong. But it can go wrong quickly. When we place church before church, everything can go wrong.
Every year around 4,000 churches are closing their doors, while only 1,000 are beginning. More than 2 million members are leaving the church every year (churchleadership.org). Is this to say the church is dying? No. Jesus is alive at the Church is His bride (Jesus will be very important to this post in a moment, as always). The Church is alive to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To teach His message of truth and reconciliation. We’re here to serve. Jesus should be at the forefront of each individual church’s ultimate goals. When we lose sight of Christ, this is where we begin to fail.
The pursuit and glorification is what makes the Church and church great. Looky here:
“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth— and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.“
What makes a great church? A lot of people? Great music? Unbelievable preaching? Nah, man.
What makes a church great is their love of Jesus, and how that love is poured over into action. Action? Love. Worship. Service. Discipleship. You can invite the hungry into a place of shelter, but until they receive food they are not getting what they need. In the same way, if a church has a great light show with some songs, a massive audience, and some positive thought preaching, but they aren’t putting the significance on Jesus it’s a lost cause.
Jesus, God in flesh, literally came to earth to love, teach, and serve. He ultimately died and rose to life three days later to reconcile man to a personal relationship with God the Father. Christ now reigns supreme. God “exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name”. The greatness of Jesus allows churches to be successful in the pursuit of His name (allows churches to be great).
Community in Christ, worship of His name, serving those in need, and sharing of His message. This is our intention. Christ gives us life. Christ gives us purpose.
Numbers are nothing. Attendance doesn’t matter. “What matters?” Having a community of followers who love Jesus, pursue relationships with Him, and serve those around them.
Don’t worry about being great. Worry about where our focus is. Make Jesus the forefront of the movement. Make life intentional, by intentionally following Christ.
The music, programs, teaching, outreach does not matter when it doesn’t come from a place of focus on Jesus.
Christ is alive. Death is defeated. Ultimately, everyone will pronounce the lordship of Jesus. Jesus is supreme. Jesus is Lord. Focus on Him.
Love God. Love People. Buy someone’s lunch.