BUILDING A LOCAL CHURCH "ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN"
I saw on social media recently the fact that a Ministry friend is going to pioneer a local church here in our state, he also wrote a post expressing his concern that some churches are being pioneered and built primarily on signs and wonders.
There is this awesome principle seen right from the Old Testament and into the New Testament that we must BUILD ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN. These are words God used when He spoke to Moses to build the Tabernacle, and to King David to build the Temple. Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16 I am going to give you a set of keys called the Keys of the Kingdom to build my Church.
Sadly, so many churches seem to be built on the wrong foundations for example:
1.Some churches are build on the Leaders position on Soteriology, and Calvinist or Arminian teaching is the basis of their Salvation preaching. The Bible tells us it is the will of God that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. Let us simply obey the Great Commission and preach the Gospel and leave “election & predestination” to God.
2. Some churches are centred on the Lead Pastor’s Ministry Gifting, we need all the 5 fold Ministry Gifts functioning in a local church if we are to build a balanced church”according to the pattern”.
3. Some churches seem to be built on a Pastor’s “hobby horse” and every sermon seems to mention (at least) his particular pet revelation, we say he only “has one string in his bow”.
These are 3 potentially negative reasons (and I am sure there are many more) that are not the best foundations to pioneer and build a church.
So what are some of the essential positive keys that must be built into the foundation when we plan to pioneer a church?
- PRAYER, this should be self explanatory for it is God that does the building through us, and without Him we cam do nothing of long term consequence.
- A New Testament Spirit filled church must be a WORSHIPPING church, not simply following the latest so called “contemporary patterns, every Believer must be taught and trained to be a PARTICIPATOR NOT A SPECTATOR.
- SMALL GROUPS (whatever you call them) are essential in the life of a local church, where the leaders are trained to minister Pastoral care, and to encourage caring and sharing and witnessing amongst every member.
- The church and every member must be EVANGELISTIC, it has been said if a church is not witnessing and evangelising, it is simply a country club for the benefit of it members.
- The Great Commission as expressed in Acts 1:8 includes MISSIONS to other cultures and language groups within our city and nation and beyond our shores to the whole world.
- The local church must have TEACHING, TRAINING, DISCIPLING & MENTORING, if they are going to grow.
- Thus the local church should have a PLURAL TEAM OF MINISTRIES to fulfil these 4 objectives in 7
- I think it would be great to have a PROPHETIC VOICE IN THE CHURCH.
- The leadership team MUST HAVE A PROGRESSIVE VISION.
- APOSTOLIC ACCOUNTABILITY beyond the local church would also be advisable.
- I am sure there are other important keys to the pattern, but these above I believe are essential and must be developed
I mentioned the Keys of the Kingdom, let me list some from Acts 4:23-31
SIGNS & WONDERS (as part of the pattern, not the central theme)
preaching the word of God
The Authority of the NAME OF JESUS.
UNITY & FELLOWSHIP
SPIRIT FILLED LIVINNG & LIFESTYLE.
When Moses and David obeyed and built “according to the pattern” when the Tabernacle and the Temple was completed THE GLORY CLOUD CAME.
May every local church, “HAVE AN EYE FOR THE CLOUD” and REFLECT, the Glory of God, be a VESSEL for the Glory of God, and be a CHANNEL for the Glory of God AMEN