With every organisation comes lots of pressures and demands, take a hospital for
example. You can have the most qualified staff, the fanciest equipment, brilliant
accountants, leading thinkers and state of the art transportation, but, if you fail to
care for people it has missed it’s main purpose. It is all in vain. Often that seems
to be the case, targets, money and power sadly become the main thing and it is at
the expense of those who need help the most.
The same can be true of a church; in the chaos of life it can lose it’s purpose and
function. Asking questions like…Why do we exist? What is the Church? And what
is our purpose? simply don’t get asked. We tend to just carry on as we have
always have done, we get into such a rut that Church becomes a building not a
family of people, the lines blur and we lose sight of what the main thing is.
So often as a church we end up substituting the main thing for lesser things.
Our focus is on fantastic leaders, good branding, a cool website, rocking worship
and a Jacuzzi baptismal pool but if it is without the message of new life in Jesus, it
just misses the point.
If we substitute a life changing message for a social club, the church just ends up
like the rest of the world. Instead of shining in the darkness, it fades into the
The Apostle Paul knew a thing or two about planting churches and bringing
change. He knew what values and culture a Church had to hold. He taught on
Godly character, purpose and specifically what had to be at the core of every
single church ever.
This is what he says to a Church in Corinth, a Church that was a little chaotic and
confused and needed to be told to get it’s priorities right,
1 Corinthians 15, verse 3,
“For what I received I passed onto you as of first importance: that Christ died for
our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the
third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to
He says that of first importance is the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus died
for our sin that we might have new life. For Paul, this was the most important
thing above all other teaching – that Jesus died and raised to life. Surely the same
has to be true of our churches. Our lives need to revolve around this story of
death and resurrection. Our life should scream we are not who we used to be.
Practically for a church, this looks like both preaching and living it. It requires us
to take the message of hope to the world instead of sat patiently waiting on our
backsides for the world to come to us. Here is a memo to the church – They aint
This doesn’t mean that we have to stop serving milkshakes, having cool kids
work and a helpful website, getting the small things right is really important it
sets people on their way. All these things point in the right direction and can
make a massive difference they can remove stereotypes and in removing
obstacles whilst creating opportunity for people to encounter Jesus. In the grand
scheme of things we just have to remember their place. Lets not get carried away
by our PA systems or lighting or buildings, but with Jesus.
Our churches should have reputations of being all about Jesus. – We do that by
keeping the main thing, the main thing.