Author: Cleveland McLeish
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 – ESV)
When the Word of God became flesh, and dwelt among humanity, there was a church in existence. They believed strongly in the law and the prophets. They adored Moses for what he had done and accomplished in God on their behalf. They met weekly in the synagogue for worship, prayer and the reading of Scripture. They tithed; they fasted and they demonstrated levels of commitment to God that we may not be familiar with today. Yet, not one of the chosen twelve disciples came from the church. As a matter of fact, the church was very hostile towards Jesus. Very few members of the church system then paid any attention to who Jesus proclaimed to be.
We can be so engrafted in a church system, that we fail to nourish and develop a personal walk with God. Most churches are designed to be performance based, and activty driven. We ‘do’ church instead of ‘being’ the church. The language of our day is still “Let’s go to church.” As I studied Scripture carefully, I begun to accept the organic nature of the church, and my induction as a member of the body of Christ, and began to resist the structural demands of an institutional establishment that feeds on performance, irrespective of our spiritual maturity. I wanted to be more than just a pawn on a religious chessboard. But I needed to be untethered from a system that bounded me, while trying to convince me that I was free.
Church was never meant to become an enslaving principle for believers, using a language of fear and death to increase our numbers so we can give a nice report. Church is meant to be a body of people who would be responsible for each other, and grow together to maturity. It is a body of people who could confess their faults to each other, pray and receive healing. It is a body that understands that Christ is the head, not a pastor, and each member plays a significant role in activating and advancing the kingdom of God within each of us. We must cease from doing church, and start being the church. For most of us, that will demand a season of untethering, so we can be released from faulty thinking, doctrine of men, demands of ministerial and position responsibilties above loving God and people, and the idea that we must earn our salvation.
Father, I repent for doing church, instead of being the church. I accept Your Word, that I am a valuable member of the body of Christ on earth, and I have a significant role to play in activating and advancing the kingdom of God within me. Help me to change my language from speaking of the church as an external institution, to honouring the church as the body of believers, called, anointed and appointed for such a time as this. I want to be known as the Church, and manifest Your glory and presence wherever I am in the world, in Jesus Name. Amen
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