Jesus is described in the Bible as the cornerstone, the door, and the foundation of the church. Peter wrote that we were “living stones…being built into a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:25). The architectural imagery of the church in Scripture is vivid. There is no question that the foundation of a great church is Jesus Christ. But the biblical imagery of the church also suggests that each member of the church is a vital part of that structure.
There is a sense in which we are all ‘the church’ every day and everywhere we go. We do not put on and take off Christ depending on the situation. Our desire as disciples of Jesus is to bring His presence into the world around us through love, service, and attitudes we learn from Him.
There is also a sense in which we are ‘the church’ when gathered. The community of faith as described in Scripture regularly assembles to encourage one another to show love and do good works. In the Book of Acts they gathered daily.
I am concerned that in today’s culture the church is seen as a consumer provider. Many may feel that the church is to provide a menu of choices from which we might pick one or two that suit us. At least, this is what our attendance patterns tell me. The church is so much more than just attendance at Bible Class, LifeGroup, and Worship times … but can the church ever be all it could be without consistent attendance at those times?
Who is setting the agenda for you and your family? When Wednesday night Bible class rolls around we ought to have a packed church. Why? Because we are building a foundation for our family and our own spiritual life to empower our walk the rest of the week. Sunday School should be a power hour for our children. Who is deciding where your children are during Sunday School? Parents? Coaches? Television? A sleepy-eyed child?
In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus describes building a life on the word of God as building on a solid rock foundation. Trying to build your life without the word of God is to build on sand. When the storms of life come – and they will – you and your children will need a firm foundation to survive.
To build a great church every member will have to make the effort to be present when the church gathers. Otherwise, what are we building?