In order for any local congregation of the church of Jesus Christ to reach its maximum effectiveness it needs to stand in direct opposition to the “consumer oriented” mindset that often pervades our society. Church is not a democracy; it does not exist by the people, of the people, and for the people. The church is the church of KING JESUS. The church has a mission; a mission to fulfill the coming of HIS KINGDOM;” doing HIS WILL in the earth as it is being done in Heaven.” In this church we are servants – slaves even – who are totally divested of our own rights, and who patiently wait, standing quietly in the corner of the room, to attend to HIS every need. Paul said, “we are not our own, bought with a price, we therefore glorify God.”

If we take a somewhat cursory glance at ourselves we might frequently see our spoiled behaviors. We often require our pastors to handle us with kid gloves; and we walk out rather than yielding ourselves to biblical discipline. We have often developed the opinion that church is a vehicle for obtaining “our best life yet.” We have allowed ourselves to believe that church exists to provide for everything from healing Aunt Nellie’s Bursitis to – after we have wrung out the last dregs of this life – providing a fantastic fire escape plan for us when we die. We shop for our religious experiences the same way we shop for our cars, our furniture, and our fashions. We try to keep our young people in our congregations by offering Holy Ghost Highs; we strive to be “seeker friendly;” and we try to design programs to meet everyone’s needs. In short, we give them everything they ask for and then we wonder why they wander at the first hint of something that requires dedication and perseverance.

Contradicting our approaches, Jesus often challenged the people who engaged him. “Birds have nests,” he said, foxes have holes; I have no place to lay my head. Why would you want to follow me?” Our king said, “Oh, so you want to be my disciple, fine! Here’s your first job. See that cross lying there. Grab it, drag it up that hill, and place it beside mine; and after that, go and practice loving my disciples to the same extent that I have loved you. Be truly one with me and with each other, and when that love blazes brightly the world out there will see it and recognize that you are my disciples. That’s the only outreach program that I desire for MY CHURCH”

Jonas Borntreger
Feb. 2013