Being “church” is both an identity and a calling. You are church and do church. The church has a “business,” but it’s not about “busyness.”
There is confusion, however, about how we impact the world around us for Jesus Christ—our “mission” and purpose.
We confess and act two different ways. We say it’s Jesus who grows His Kingdom. But we work like we grow the Kingdom. In Ephesians 3:14-19, Paul clarifies. He says, “I ask [God the Father] to strengthen you—not a brute strength, but a glorious inner strength.”
Churches wear people out with programs and activities. Yet, from the perspective of God’s Kingdom, it’s first and foremost about who you are and who you become. After all, God made us as human beings, not human doings.
This is often hard to grasp. We’re usually so caught up in church “programs” that we neglect our personal growth. Yet, as we grow, we come to know God. As we increasingly know God, we more effectively make Him known to others.
To reduce Jesus’ mission to doing stuff at the expense of growing people in faith is a surefire way to decline. Jesus “made” disciples. He commanded us to “make disciples.”
So, there’s Sally at church. Active in church, busy all the time. Yet never in Bible study, either at church or in a home, or personally.
Paul clarifies in verses 20-21, “God can do anything … far more than you could even imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us.”
It is counterintuitive for most Christians to believe that if you focused on growing Christians spiritually, your church would grow explosively. Yet, it works. It’s called, “making disciples” who become disciplers. It’s all about who you are and who you become. It’s all about multiplication!